for this game

Hurricanes blow past Thrashers, still alive in playoff chase

Apr 9, 2011 - 3:20 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Cam Ward stopped 18 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes continued their push for a playoff spot with a 6-1 domination of the Atlanta Thrashers.

The win moves Carolina into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers.

Both teams play their final game on Saturday as the Hurricanes host the Lightning at night and the Rangers host the Devils during the day. Should the two teams remain tied for points, Carolina makes it to the postseason due to holding the first tiebreaker.

Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner each had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who have won five of their last six games. Jussi Jokinen added a goal and an assist.

"We knew we had to come out with some jump," said Skinner. "We had a lot of chances. It would've been nice to get a shutout for him (Ward)."

Ondrej Pavelec was tagged for all six goals on 32 shots for the Thrashers, who were coming off a win over the Rangers on Thursday. Bryan Little scored with just 39 seconds left to spoil Ward's shutout bid.

"I feel like a loser. We didn't make it," said Pavelec. "That's what happens when you try to score too much."

Skinner scored 3:03 into the game on a wrister in the slot off a feed from Ruutu, and Erik Cole while scored on a wrist shot off an Atlanta turnover three minutes later for a 2-0 lead.

The only goal of the second period came off the stick of Joni Pitkanen as he tried to lift the puck into the zone and it hit off an Atlanta player. He floated down to the front where he quickly snapped it in for a 3-0 lead just 32 seconds into the period.

Brandon Sutter scored 5:22 into the third, and Jokinen lit the lamp 1:18 later for a 5-0 lead.

Just 70 seconds after that Ruutu scored for a 6-0 advantage.

Ward had stopped 13 shots through the first two periods and was eyeing his fifth shutout of the season, but Little ruined that with his 18th goal.

Game Notes

Atlanta closes out its season at home against the Penguins on Sunday...Carolina went 18-17-6 on the road this season...The Hurricanes took five of six from the Thrashers this season.