The Carolina Hurricanes traveled to Atlanta and picked up their first shutout of the preseason on Saturday night with a 1-0 win over the Thrashers. Cam Ward stopped all 32 shots he faced.
Rookie Jeff Skinner scored the only goal of the game just 1:17 into the third period. Paul Maurice was moving the youngster around and he scored the game winner while on a line with Eric Staal and Erik Cole. Skinner continues to make a major case for himself to stay with the big boys.
The game took a scary turn when Sergei Samsonov was tripped and fell head first into the boards. The Russian forward was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a hospital, but the latest report is that he was later released and returned home with the team. He suffered from a sprained neck and should be fine.
The defensive pairings were probably what the Canes will be starting with on opening night, Gleason/Corvo, Pitkanen/Babchuk, and Harrison/McBain. Needless to say, the coaching staff was pleased with their effort in the shutout.
The Hurricanes return to practice on Sunday as they prepare for a rematch with the Florida Panthers in another exhibition game with their division rivals, this time in Sunrise, Florida on Wednesday night.
- It was a penalty filled affair with a total of 60 penalty minutes handed out
- The Hurricanes had 29 shots on goal, led by Eric Staal with 5
- Staal also won 59% of his faceoffs, (10 of 17). The club finished with a sub par 41%
- The team was credited with 18 takeaways led by Joe Corvo and Staal with 3 each
- Anton Babchuk, Jay Harrison, and Corvo each had 2 blocked shots
- Joni Pitkanen picked up where he left off last season and played a game high 25:47
- The team had 15 hits, led by Tuomo Ruutu with 4