for this game

Thrashers top Hurricanes, extend streak to five

Nov 15, 2008 - 6:23 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- And then it was five.

Vyacheslav Kozlov's power-play goal early in the third period proved to be the difference as the Atlanta Thrashers extended their winning streak to a franchise record-tying five games Friday with a 3-2 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Marty Reasoner and Eric Perrin also scored and Johan Hedberg made 27 saves for the Thrashers, who have won three straight at home.

"These wins are huge," Perrin said. "It's what every team shoots for - to get on a roll like that early in the season. It builds confidence. We believe we can win every night."

Tuomo Ruutu and captain Rod Brind'Amour tallied for Carolina, which has dropped three in a row and four of five.

"We've got to be better," said Hurricanes center Eric Staal, who ended a five-game points drought with an assist. "I'm counted on (to score). I have to bury my head, work hard and eventually they will fall. We need to bring our game and do our job. Everyone is frustrated."

After struggling under new coach John Anderson, things have been different of late in the place they call "Blueland" as the Thrashers seemingly have turned the page on a brutal start to the season.

Atlanta wore its alternate red jerseys for the first time this season in this one, and it kept the club hot as the Thrashers are enjoying one of the best stretches of their brief history. The club entered having won four of five games this month, including road wins over the Buffalo Sabres on November 7 and the Hurricanes on Sunday.

"I wish we had October back," said Anderson, whose club went 2-6-2 in the first month of the season. "It is what it is. It's a long season. I'm not ordering any rings just yet.

"As Will Rogers said, 'Even when you're on the right track, you're going to get run over if you just sit there.' We have to keep improving as a team."

October was a month of adjustment for the Thrashers, who were working out the kinks of having a new coach, a new system and new on-ice personnel. But as the weather chilled and the leaves began falling from the trees, things started clicking for Atlanta, which has emerged as one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

"You want to say (that things turned around) the first game of the five-game streak," Perrin said. "But we had some big games before that. Right now, we're a little different team."

Reasoner gave the Thrashers a lead they never relinquished midway through the first period. During a 2-on-1 rush, Reasoner wristed a cross-slot pass from the right faceoff circle by Colby Armstrong past goaltender Cam Ward for a 1-0 edge.

Perrin doubled the advantage early in the second with his first goal of the season, ripping a cross-crease pass from enforcer Eric Boulton over the pads of a diving Ward at 3:32.

"Getting that goal is like getting the monkey off my back," Perrin said. "I was starting to feel pressure, and when that happens, the tighter you squeeze the stick. Now that I got it out of the way, I'll stop worrying about it."

Anderson liked what he saw from Boulton, who hesitated for a split second before making the pass.

"Now Bolts is even getting it," Anderson joked. "In Chicago (of the American Hockey League last season), we didn't win the championship without a great fourth line."

"We worked on that pass today (in practice) and it was the same result," Perrin said. "Great heads-up play."

Carolina halved the deficit with 2:13 remaining in the period, when Ruutu carried down the left wing and wristed a shot into the top right corner of the net for a power-play goal. But Kozlov restored the two-goal cushion early in the third with his team-leading ninth of the campaign, converting a cross-slot pass from the left faceoff dot by Bryan Little during a 5-on-3 advantage at 4:12.

Little's assist extended his points streak to five games.

The Hurricanes got within 3-2 when Brind'Amour cashed in during a power play with 5:59 left and had a chance to tie the game after Thrashers rookie defenseman Boris Valabik was called for holding 44 seconds later.

But Hedberg and his defense stood tall, stymieing Carolina's attack the rest of the way as Atlanta held on for its first five-game winning streak since February 26-March 8, 2007.

"It's been a very important stretch for us," said Hedberg, who has posted three wins during the run. "Even though it's early in the season, if we did not keep ourselves in these games, we could be far behind. So right now, we're back into it and feeling good about ourselves."

Ward turned aside 22 shots for the Hurricanes, whose four-game winning streak at Philips Arena came to an end.

"We made mistakes," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We were pressing. When you do that in the offensive zone, you're vulnerable against the rush. It's hard to sit here and say that you're happy."






  • 25
    roots
    RmSvc Added 5 roots

    Hurricanes 2, Thrashers 3  FinalNov 15 12:25 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 1 1 2
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARTY REASONER 4 (COLBY ARMSTRONG) 9:41
    2ND PRD: ATL - ERIC PERRIN 1 (ERIC BOULTON, JIM SLATER) 3:32
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 6 (ERIC STAAL, DENNIS SEIDENBERG)
    17:47
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 9 (BRYAN

    Nov 14 10:08 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 2, Thrashers 3  3rd - 0:15Nov 14 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) ROD BRIND'AMOUR 6 (RAY WHITNEY, ANTON BABCHUK)
    14:01

    Hurricanes 2, Thrashers 3  3rd - 5:59Nov 14 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 9 (BRYAN LITTLE, RON HAINSEY)
    4:12 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Hurricanes 1, Thrashers 3  3rd - 15:48Nov 14 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARTY REASONER 4 (COLBY ARMSTRONG) 9:41
    2ND PRD: ATL - ERIC PERRIN 1 (ERIC BOULTON, JIM SLATER) 3:32
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 6 (ERIC STAAL, DENNIS SEIDENBERG)
    17:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3

    Nov 14 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 6 (ERIC STAAL, DENNIS SEIDENBERG)
    17:47

    Hurricanes 1, Thrashers 2  2nd - 2:13Nov 14 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - ERIC PERRIN 1 (ERIC BOULTON, JIM SLATER) 3:32

    Hurricanes 0, Thrashers 2  2nd - 16:28Nov 14 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARTY REASONER 4 (COLBY ARMSTRONG) 9:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 11 11
    ATL 8 8
    GOALIES: CAR - CAM WARD
    ATL - JOHAN HEDBER

    Nov 14 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARTY REASONER 4 (COLBY ARMSTRONG) 9:41

    Hurricanes 0, Thrashers 1  1st - 10:19Nov 14 7:57 PM