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Hurricanes edge Thrashers in OT

Erik Cole scored 2:09 into overtime to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday.

Tuomo Ruutu, Zac Dalpe and Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes, who are 5-0-2 in their last seven games as they chase Montreal for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Joe Corvo also had two assists, and Justin Peters won his second straight start.

Bryan Little scored twice and Niclas Bergfors added the Thrashers' other goal as Atlanta rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a point. Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves.

Atlanta was trying to rebound from a 9-3 loss to Toronto on Friday. After a torrid stretch from the middle of November to the middle of December, Atlanta has leveled off and is 3-5-2 in last 10 games.

Cole scored in overtime after being denied by Pavelec on a partial breakaway. After the rebound went to the corner, Cole recollected it, skated in on Pavelec and beat him blocker side.

The Hurricanes used strong play in an eventful second period to their advantage.

Carolina took a 2-1 lead when Patrick Dwyer skated over the blue along the boards and centered the puck to a streaking Dalpe. Dalpe managed to deflect the puck into the top left corner of the net for his third goal in five games.

Less than two minutes later, a Corvo slap shot bounced to Skinner, who one-timed the puck past Pavelec, who was trying to scramble back into the net.

Shortly thereafter, the Hurricanes appeared to make the score 4-1 when Cole backhanded the puck into the net from just outside the crease. But officials called Cole for an interference penalty on Dustin Byfuglien despite minimal contact, negating the goal.

Bergfors scored on the ensuing Thrashers power play, taking a nice pass from Andrew Ladd in the slot and wristing the puck past Peters' blocker to make the score 3-2.

Little then tied the score midway through the third period when he snapped a shot past Peters' glove on an odd-man rush.

Carolina opened the scoring 1:20 into the game when Corvo skated the length of the ice, made a nifty move at the Atlanta blueline to get past a Thrashers defenseman, and fed Ruutu, who converted from the slot.

Atlanta tied the score after Little caught Peters out of the crease and scored on a wraparound.

Peters got his second straight start for the first time this season as Cam Ward sat out with an undisclosed minor injury. Ward was on the bench as Peters' backup.

NOTES: Atlanta's Ben Eager sat out after being suspended by the NHL on Saturday for four games for punching Toronto's Colby Armstrong. ... Carolina D Joni Pitkanen returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. ... Ladd was a member of the Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup championship.