RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Rich Peverley and Evgeny Artyukhin scored 57 seconds apart in the second period to help the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 on Saturday night.
Niclas Bergfors added a goal late in the second for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game skid to stay in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Johan Hedberg had a relatively stress-free night for Atlanta, facing six shots in the first period. He finished with 34 saves and earned his second shutout of the season.
Jim Slater added a goal late in the third period for Atlanta.
Manny Legace finished with 39 saves on an otherwise forgettable night for the Hurricanes, who inched closer to elimination. Carolina started the game flat, then fell behind for good during the Thrashers' three-goal burst in the second period.
Atlanta swept all three games at the RBC Center against its Southeast Division rival.
The Hurricanes were lucky to still be in the game after the first 20 minutes. Atlanta fired 18 shots at Legace only to have the goaltender make several big stops. But the Hurricanes didn't take advantage of that opening, failing to get off a shot on three power plays in the period.
The Thrashers finally broke through midway through the second when Maxim Afinogenov pushed the puck into the right circle, then sent a pass to Peverley coming up the middle of the ice. Peverley quickly sent a puck past Brett Carson and Legace at 7:46.
Less than a minute later, the Thrashers struck again when Artyukhin beat Legace from the right side to make it 2-0 at 8:43 of the second.
Bergfors beat Legace on a 2-on-1 chance late in the period for a 3-0 lead, which all but clinched yet another road win against the Hurricanes.
NOTES: Atlanta won the first two meetings of the six-game season series, but Carolina won the next two before Saturday. The final meeting is Monday in Atlanta. ... Carolina has been outshot 760-690 in the first period this season.