Hurricanes Get First Win of the Season

Saturday, October 14th 2006, 7:51 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ Carolina's first win came in the last second. Ray Whitney scored on a tip-in with 0.5 seconds left in the third period Friday night, lifting the Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, the defending Stanley Cup champions' first of the season.

The Hurricanes, 0-3-1 through four games, matched the intensity they showed in winning their first championship for the first time this season, according to coach Peter Laviolette.

``I thought tonight was the best game that we competed since the start of camp,'' Laviolette said.

Carolina led 3-0 in the first period only to see Atlanta pull even in the third.

``In the third period we were playing not to make mistakes, not to win,'' Whitney said. ``But we hung in there.''

Cam Ward stopped 31 shots for the Hurricanes.

An overtime period seemed inevitable until Whitney tipped in a shot by Eric Staal.

``We really controlled the last 40 minutes _ minus point-five seconds,'' Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said after his team's first loss in regulation. ``Tonight was definitely a tough way to lose a game.''

In other NHL games on Friday, it was: Buffalo 3, Detroit 2 in a shootout; Florida 3, Tampa Bay 2; and San Jose 6, Vancouver 4.

Craig Adams scored two goals for Carolina.

``To get this win was really big for our team,'' Adams said. ``We still have a ways to go, but it was nice to get this one.''

Jon Sim scored two goals in a 22-second span in the second period for Atlanta, which opened the season 3-0-1.

Carolina took a 3-0 lead with less than 2 seconds left in the first period when Staal scored on a breakaway.

Sim's goals cut the lead to 3-2 and Bobby Holik tied the game on a drive to the net with less than 6 minutes left in the third period.

Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk, who since the start of the 2002-03 season leads all NHL players with 131 goals, still does not have one this season. He was stopped on 10 shots.

``I want to score every game, but I don't know what's going on,'' Kovalchuk said. ``It's bad luck.''

Sabres 3, Red Wings 2, SO

Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek scored in regulation for Buffalo (4-0-0) and Ryan Miller made 41 saves. Ales Kotalik and Daniel Briere got goals for the Sabres in the shootout, Buffalo's third this season.

Jason Williams had both Detroit goals and Dominik Hasek made 15 saves.

Panthers 3, Lightning 2

Jay Bouwmeester's goal with 9 minutes left in the third period broke a 2-2 tie as Florida won for the seventh time in its last eight home games against the Lightning.

Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Clark scored for Tampa Bay, which lost its third straight.

Sharks 6, Canucks 4

Curtis Brown and Mike Grier both beat Roberto Luongo on third-period breakaways as San Jose spoiled the Canucks' home opener. Vesa Toskala, who made 21 saves to improve to 3-0 this season, had an assist on Brown's shorthanded goal.

Markus Naslund scored his 300th goal as a Canuck, tying Trevor Linden for the franchise record, and Kevin Bieksa netted his first NHL goal for Vancouver, which has lost three straight after winning its first two.