for this game

Peverley, Kovalchuk help Thrashers rally past Hurricanes

Mar 1, 2009 - 4:25 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Though the playoffs are no longer a realistic goal this season for the Atlanta Thrashers, they are still showing plenty of fight.

Rich Peverley scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 88 seconds remaining in the third period as the Thrashers rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday in a battle of Southeast Division rivals.

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk recorded two goals and three assists for Atlanta, which used a four-goal third period to end a skid in which it had lost three of four.

"I think what is happening here is you're seeing a little belief in the team and a little belief in each other," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "It maybe is a little late now, but we're seeing some progress. Hopefully, it will carry on for the rest of the year."

Tuomo Ruutu, Sergei Samsonov and defenseman Anton Babchuk tallied for Carolina, which has gone 11-6-0 since suffering a season-high five-game skid from January 8-17.

"We usually come out good and strong like tonight," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "The game opened up and we had some defensive zone breakdowns. And at the end of the day, we took a penalty at the end of the game that we can't take.

"We are leaving this one here. This is 10 games in 17 days. We were running thin at the end with guys missing coverages, so we are leaving this one here."

Peverley beat Cam Ward with a wrist shot while stationed on the doorstep to snap a 3-3 tie on the power play, and Kovalchuk converted an empty-netter with three seconds remaining to secure the win.

"It's nice to score at the end of a period because it gives you the jump on the next (one)," Kovalchuk said. "It seems all season long, we have been great in the third, but sometimes we give up too much in the first two and we can't catch them. If we can play like that all game, we will win a lot."

Kari Lehtonen stopped 32 shots for Atlanta, which avoided a ninth loss in 11 meetings with the Hurricanes.

"Tonight is a good confidence boost," Peverley said. "Our last 20 games, we want to play well and consistent. We had a great crowd tonight, and it was nice to let them enjoy it."

One of the teams on the playoff bubble in the tight Eastern Conference, Carolina has won 15 of 23 contests this season against teams not currently in playoff position. The Hurricanes have five games remaining against such competition.

"I don't know what to say," Ward said. "I was disappointed in the third period. That was one of the worst ones we've had all year. Maybe we ran out of gas.

"They kept coming. They didn't have as much to lose as we did. They looked more like a team playing for a playoff spot than we did."

Ruutu opened the scoring with 6:06 remaining in the first period, taking a cross-crease pass from All-Star Eric Staal and firing a wrist shot past Lehtonen from the low slot. Samsonov doubled the bulge 1:41 later by unleashing a wrister from the left faceoff circle to notch his 13th goal of the season.

Kovalchuk cut the deficit in half with 34 seconds left in the session, but Babchuk recaptured the two-goal lead with a power-play tally at 1:41 of the third.

"We can't make those kinds of mistakes this time of the year," Staal said. "It hurts, but we have to rebound.

"I thought we came out good knowing what we wanted to do. But Kovalchuk's goal with 30 seconds left in the (second) period gave them life. That's not what you want to do to a team that is down and out."

Peverley continued the Thrashers' comeback efforts when he collected a loose puck and slipped the puck past Ward in the midst of a scrum in front of the net with 9:35 remaining.

"I had my fingers crossed (when we picked him off waivers on January 10)," Anderson said of Peverley. "I was hoping that when you see a player, you can say, 'OK. He can skate, he's got moxie with the puck and can shoot.' You see what will make him a good player and that's what happened."

White forged a 3-3 tie with 6:03 left in the session.






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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 5  FinalMar 1 2:48 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 0 1 3
    ATLANTA 0 1 4 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 17 (ERIC STAAL) 13:54
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 13 (JUSSI JOKINEN, PATRICK EAVES)
    15:35
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 33 (TODD WHITE) 19:26
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) ANTON BABCHUK 8 (RAY WHITNEY, ERIC STAAL)

    Feb 28 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    ATLANTA 5
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 34 (RON HAINSEY) 19:57

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 5  3rd - 0:03Feb 28 9:34 PM
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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 5  3rd - 0:03Feb 28 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    ATLANTA 4
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) RICH PEVERLEY 10 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, VYACHESLAV
    KOZLOV) 18:32

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 4  3rd - 1:28Feb 28 9:32 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 27 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 4  3rd - 1:28Feb 28 9:32 PM
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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 3:41Feb 28 9:25 PM
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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 6:03Feb 28 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - TODD WHITE 17 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, BRYAN LITTLE) 13:57

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 6:03Feb 28 9:21 PM
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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 6:03Feb 28 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - RICH PEVERLEY 9 (MARTY REASONER, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 10:25

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 2  3rd - 9:35Feb 28 9:15 PM
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    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 2  3rd - 9:35Feb 28 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) ANTON BABCHUK 8 (RAY WHITNEY, ERIC STAAL) 1:41

    Hurricanes 3, Thrashers 1  3rd - 18:19Feb 28 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 0 2
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 17 (ERIC STAAL) 13:54
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 13 (JUSSI JOKINEN, PATRICK EAVES)
    15:35
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 33 (TODD WHITE) 19:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- -

    Feb 28 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 33 (TODD WHITE) 19:26

    Hurricanes 2, Thrashers 1  2nd - 0:34Feb 28 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 2 2
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 17 (ERIC STAAL) 13:54
    CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 13 (JUSSI JOKINEN) 15:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 11 11
    ATL 6 6
    G

    Feb 28 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 13 (JUSSI JOKINEN) 15:35

    Hurricanes 2, Thrashers 0  1st - 4:25Feb 28 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 17 (ERIC STAAL) 13:54

    Hurricanes 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 6:06Feb 28 7:36 PM