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Samsonov, Hurricanes too strong for Thrashers

Jan 1, 2009 - 4:19 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Sergei Samsonov recorded two goals and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes posted a 3-1 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday in a battle of Southeast Division rivals.

Defenseman Joe Corvo also tallied and Cam Ward turned aside 20 shots for Carolina, which improved to 5-3-0 in its last eight games.

"We're still on the bench kind of deciding where to turn the screws, because it's (going to be) January, not September," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said.

"We're still trying to find our way with this team because of where we are in the season, but I think we're pretty pleased. Overall, December I think was good, was fruitful. We probably played a little better than our record, but we also played a lot of playoff teams."

Ilya Kovalchuk snapped a nine-game goalless streak with a tally and Kari Lehtonen finished with 25 saves for Atlanta, which is 0-3-1 in its last four games.

"We lose again, so it really doesn't do anything," Kovalchuk said of his goal. "Hopefully, I'm going to find the back of the net more now."

"It's a loss," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "We try to do things and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work."

After Kovalchuk opened the scoring midway through the first period, Samsonov netted his first tally with 25 seconds remaining in the session.

The Russian accepted a backhanded feed from Eric Staal and unleashed a sharp-angle shot past Lehtonen to level the contest at 1-1.

"Eric kind of poked the puck through, and I was really close to the goal and I just tried to buy as much time as I could and keep going past the net and see if I could get the hole," Samsonov said.

"I ended up having just enough time to do that."

Samsonov then gave the Hurricanes a lead they would not relinquish after recording his second tally of the contest and seventh of the season with 3:11 remaining in the middle session.

Tuomo Ruutu provided the assist this time to Samsonov, who beat Lehtonen from in close.

"(Ruutu) cycled at least once around the net and got a pretty good shot and I got a rebound," Samsonov said. "I thought we played well as a line today, and we had some chances."

Corvo capped the scoring just 7:14 into the third period with a blast from the right faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the season.

"Early on in the season, we seemed to be giving up a lot of (odd-man rushes)," Ward said. "Now, we're going consistently with each and every game not giving up many.

"Obviously, that's an improvement - and simplifying it in our own zone, making it easy on everybody else and communicating."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1
    CAROLINA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 12 (BRYAN LITTLE, TODD WHITE)
    10:23
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 6 (ERIC STAAL, ANTON BABCHUK) 19:35
    2ND PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 7 (TUOMO RUUTU) 16:49
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) JOE CORVO 6 (SERGEI SAM

    Dec 31 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    CAROLINA 3
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) JOE CORVO 6 (SERGEI SAMSONOV) 7:14

    Thrashers 1, Hurricanes 3  3rd - 12:46Dec 31 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1
    CAROLINA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 12 (BRYAN LITTLE, TODD WHITE)
    10:23
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 6 (ERIC STAAL, ANTON BABCHUK) 19:35
    2ND PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 7 (TUOMO RUUTU) 16:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Dec 31 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 7 (TUOMO RUUTU, ERIC STAAL) 16:49

    Thrashers 1, Hurricanes 2  2nd - 3:11Dec 31 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1
    CAROLINA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 12 (BRYAN LITTLE, TODD WHITE)
    10:23
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 6 (ERIC STAAL, ANTON BABCHUK) 19:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 5

    Dec 31 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 6 (ERIC STAAL, ANTON BABCHUK) 19:35

    Thrashers 1, Hurricanes 1  1st - 0:25Dec 31 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 12 (BRYAN LITTLE, TODD WHITE) 10:23

    Thrashers 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 9:37Dec 31 8:28 PM