|Slumping Thrashers Look for Big Win in Carolina|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Tuesday, 20 February 2007 03:00|
NHL Hockey: Atlanta Thrashers at Carolina Hurricanes - Canes Favored
50% of Bets Placed on Carolina -155 | Matchup | Goalies
Atlanta (30-22-9) is just 1-6-1 in February and has lost four straight. When they last lost four or more in a row, the Thrashers snapped out of their funk with a 4-3 shootout win in Carolina on Jan. 13.
"On our side, we could have left two points here and kept our losing streak going, this was huge," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said after that game. "This wasn't a good road trip for us, but we finished on a positive note."
The Thrashers are in a familiar position after Saturday's 5-3 loss to Ottawa dropped them to 1-4-0 on their current trip. Atlanta opened with a win at Colorado, but was outscored 17-7 in losing four straight in Canada. The Thrashers have been outscored 31-14 in seven losses this month.
On Saturday, Slava Kozlov had a goal and an assist and Marian Hossa added two assists, but Atlanta blew three leads and gave up three third-period goals.
"It's frustrating," Hossa said. "I think we played a solid game on the road and just the last 10 minutes."
The losing streak has dropped the Thrashers into a tie for the top spot in the Southeast Division with Tampa Bay, and Carolina is just two points back in third place.
The Hurricanes (30-24-7) are coming off a 5-3 win over Montreal on Saturday. Captain Rod Brind'Amour scored two power-play goals, giving him 18 goals this season and 400 in his 17-year NHL career.
"When it happens right now you say, 'Oh well, it's not a big deal,' but it's kind of like all those other ones," Brind'Amour said of the milestone. "When you look back, you say, 'That's pretty good.'"
The Hurricanes went 2-for-2 with the man advantage, and have scored a power-play goal in six of their last seven games. Cam Ward made a season-high 42 saves to earn his fourth win in five decisions.
The Hurricanes have been playing well despite missing several key players. Erik Cole, the team's fifth-leading scorer, returned from a hip injury on Saturday, but two-time Stanley Cup winner Cory Stillman is on injured reserve with a knee injury and has played in only 24 games this season.
"It's a little bit demoralizing, but on the other hand those opportunities are great character builders," defenseman Glen Wesley told the team's official Web site. "Everybody is going to play a key role, and those are the types of games you like to play in.
"It gives you confidence to know that if you lose a couple of guys, everybody steps up and plays a little bit harder, a little bit better and a little bit smarter, then next thing you know, you've got a win under your belt."
Carolina is 3-0-1 against Atlanta this season and 7-2-1 in the last 10 games in the series.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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