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Carolina In Control: Hurricanes 6, Thrashers 1

The Carolina Hurricanes took advantage of a tired, lethargic Atlanta Thrashers team and won another game they needed to win as they dominated the home team from start to finish for a 6-1 victory at Philips Arena on Friday night.

The Canes can clinch a playoff spot tomorrow if the Rangers lose against the Devils in the afternoon or they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in their season finale Saturday night.

Cam Ward came within 39 seconds of his second straight shutout and had 18 saves on 19 shots for the night.

The Hurricanes got on the board just 3:03 into the game when Tuomo Ruutu found Jeff Skinner and the rookie wristed in his 31st goal of the season. 

Just three minutes after that, Erik Cole knocked in another goal and you got the feeling that this might turn into a rout.

Joni Pitkanen made it 3-0 during a powerplay, 32 seconds into the second period. 

The third period was all Carolina as they would score three more times to put away the game.  Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen, and Ruutu would each score just a minute and change apart during the onslaught. 

It looked like Ward would pick up his second consecutive shutout before Bryan Little darted into the Hurricanes zone by himself and beat Ward with a nice move with 39 seconds left.

All in all, it was a dominating performance by Carolina as the team earned it's fifth straight road win and improved their record to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.  That is not a misprint, 8-1-1.

Now, all eyes will be in New York tomorrow afternoon to see if the Canes will need a win against Tampa Bay at the RBC Saturday night. 

  • Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu each had a three point night.  Hopefully, members of the PHWA didn't send in their Calder votes too early if they voted for someone else because this kid is not finished for the year.
  • The Canes had more shots than the Thrashers did in every period and finished with 32 for the game compared to 19 for the home team.  
  • The Hurricanes won 52% of their faceoffs led by Eric Staal with 62%.  
  • Not much more to say about this game.  Tomorrow could be a big day for Caniacs.