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Hurricanes 4, Thrashers 1

The Carolina Hurricanes evened things up against the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday night as they took out the home team, 4-1 at Philips Arena.  The two teams ended up splitting their six game season series, 3-3 as each club won their respective games on the road. 

Cam Ward made his first start since early February and looked sharp as he made 26 saves on 27 Atlanta shots. 

After falling behind 1-0 in the opening period, the Canes came out strong after the first intermission and scored just one minute and change into the second on a blast by Brandon Sutter.  It was the 19th goal of the season for the youngster, who was fed perfectly by Ray Whitney.

About midway through the period, Jussi Jokinen marked up his team leading 28th goal when the puck came out to him in the slot area.  The Finn would add another goal late in the game on an empty netter to give him 29 for the year.

The two teams battled hard in the third period, but an errant Atlanta pass was picked off by Ray Whitney and he found Erik Cole alone in front of the net.  Cole made no mistake as he beat goalie Johan Hedberg, making the score 3-1. 

Jokinen then added his empty netter to close out the scoring.

Next up for Carolina will be a game in Montreal on Wednesday night. 

Game Notes: 

  • Quote of the night:  When asked about the play of Brandon Sutter, coach Paul Maurice said, "This guy, at 21 years old, is the defining player in our lineup."
  • The Canes had balanced shooting as they were led by Sutter, Staal, Jokinen, Carson, and Pitkanen with three shots each.  The team combined for a total of 22.   
  • Erik Cole had a team high three hits while Brett Carson led everyone with six blocked shots.
  • The team did better in the faceoff circle than Saturday night and were led by Brandon Sutter who won 57% of his draws, (12-21).    In all, the team won 44%.
  • Maurice also said after the game that the team had something to prove after a flat performance in Raleigh on Saturday night.  The coach said that everyone worked very hard.  That effort is to be applauded, but it's just a shame that fans were unable to watch it because the game was not televised.