RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Paul Coffey scored two goals and Arturs Irbe had a shutout until the final minute as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1 Sunday, but missed the playoffs by one point.

The Hurricanes went into their regular-season finale needing to win and Buffalo to lose at Washington in order to slip into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But the Sabres tied 1-1 for 85 points, leaving the defending Southeast Division champions with 84 and out of the postseason.

Carolina found out between the second and third periods that it failed to make the playoffs. The Hurricanes won five of their final six during a fierce postseason push with the Sabres and Montreal Canadiens, who finished one point behind the Hurricanes.

Irbe lost his shutout bid with 58 seconds left when Donald Audette scored with Damien Rhodes out of the Atlanta net.

Coffey scored early in the first and second periods for his first two-goal game in nearly four years. That occurred April 13, 1996, when Coffey was a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

Meanwhile, the Thrashers lost their 61st game _ tying for the fourth worst single-season mark in NHL history. Atlanta was 3-32-1 over its final 36 games.

Coffey scored his 10th goal with less than seven minutes gone for a 1-0 lead. The defenseman swept in from behind the net and poked the puck past Rhodes after it fell in the crease following a shot from the top of the right circle by Gary Roberts that hit the post.

Ron Francis registered his 50th assist on the goal, giving him at least that many in a season 14 times.

Coffey made it 2-0 on a power play 3:27 into the second, blasting a low shot from the right point past Rhodes.