RALEIGH, N.C. – Being patient is paying off for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Marty Reasoner scored two goals and Johan Hedberg made 35 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday that gave the Thrashers their fourth win in a row and second straight on the road.
“Our team, we feel if we keep playing hard and don’t get too crazy taking chances, we know we will get our own chances,” Reasoner said. “We’ve been able to come back from some deficits the last few games and we are believing in ourselves.”
The Thrashers twice fought back from being down a goal in the second period. They had lost five straight to the Hurricanes dating back to last season.
“Our goaltender played really well today. He was really sharp,” Atlanta coach John Anderson said. “He was tremendous.”
Hedberg was playing in place of Kari Lehtonen, who has missed the last five games with an illness.
“It went to a run-and-gun style for a while and fortunately we came out on top,” said Hedberg, who has seven career wins against the Hurricanes. “That hasn’t been the case so far this year. It helped getting the lead at 4-2. We played a solid team game after that. We deserved to get a good win.”
The Thrashers, who started winless in six road games, scored four straight goals beginning with defenceman Ron Hainsey’s goal midway through the second period.
Reasoner got Atlanta on the board when he poked in a rebound near the left circle to cancel a goal by Brind’Amour and make it 1-1 at 3:36 into the second. Ray Whitney gave Carolina a 2-1 lead on a breakaway at 5:50.
Brind’Amour was at a loss for his team’s inability to score after that.
“It’s tough,” Brind’Amour said. “In today’s game, you can’t have little things go against you because everyone is so evenly matched. We didn’t have a lot of jump. We just didn’t play well enough.”
Hainsey’s goal tied the game before Jason Williams and Ilya Kovalchuk scored to give the Thrashers control. Atlanta’s four second-period goals came on nine shots.
Williams, who has four goals in the last three games, tallied on the power play for the Thrashers after controlling a rebound of Kovalchuk’s shot and snapping it by Carolina goalkeeper Cam Ward to make it 3-2 with five minutes left in the middle period.
“It’s a confidence builder for us,” Williams said. “I find when you get on a winning streak you want to stay on it as long as possible because anything can happen, especially early in the season. You can go through some adversity right there at the beginning. We were struggling and guys weren’t happy, but it’s definitely a lot better when you’re winning. We want to make sure we take care of the things we’re doing and keep going.”
Kovalchuk gave Atlanta an insurance goal with 1:37 left in the second when he crept into the crease and deflected a centring pass from Williams by a defenceless Ward.
Reasoner added an unassisted goal six minutes into the third period.
Notes: Carolina defenceman Joe Corvo, who came into the game with points in four straight on two goals and three assists, did not earn a point. … Ward lost in regulation to the Thrashers for the first time in seven games. … The Thrashers have more wins at Carolina (10) than they do at home (4) against the Hurricanes. … Atlanta forward Vyacheslav Kozlov had his five-game point streak snapped.