Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at TORONTO

Friday, 02.28.2003 / 10:14 PM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at TORONTO

CAROLINA HURRICANES (18-30-9-6, 51 pts.)
vs.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (36-23-4-1, 77 pts.)
Saturday, March 1, 2003, 7 p.m. at Air Canada Centre



GAME NIGHT

The defending Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes visit Toronto on Saturday for the teams’ third of four meetings this season and Carolina’s second game of a three-game road swing. The Hurricanes began the road trip at Phoenix on Wednesday, falling 4-2 to the Coyotes and wrap up the trip Sunday at Washington. The Hurricanes will travel to Washington following Saturday’s game for Sunday evening’s match up against Washington and then return to Raleigh for practice at RBC Center on Monday.

PRACTICE TIMES

Mar. 1 Saturday Air Canada Centre 11:30 a.m.
Mar. 2 Sunday MCI Center 11:30 a.m.
Mar. 3 Monday RBC Center 11 a.m.
Mar. 4 Tuesday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Mar. 5 Wednesday RBC Center 11 a.m.
Mar. 6 Thursday Mellon Arena 11:30 a.m.
Mar. 7 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.

ON THE AIR
Television: Fox Sports Net
Radio: WKIX 102.3 FM (Goldsboro); WKXU 101.1 FM (Raleigh); WDTF 570-AM (Raleigh); WMFD 630-AM (Wilmington); WDLZ 98.3-FM (Murfreesboro); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem); WRUP 97.9-FM (New Bern/Morehead City); WSTK 910-AM (Jacksonville); WNMX 106.1 (Charlotte); WCNC 1240-AM (Elizabeth City); WZBO 1260-AM (Edenton)
Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA NOTES
Saturday, Hurricanes captain Ron Francis will celebrate his 40th birthday as Carolina visits Toronto. The 22-year NHL veteran ranks second all-time and first among active players in assists, third all-time and second among active players in games played and fifth all-time and second among active players in total points. With his next goal he will pass Frank Mahovlich for sole possession of 21st on the all-time goals scored list. On Wednesday in Phoenix, Francis played his 1,100th game for the Carolina franchise.
On Saturday, Francis will play his seventh NHL game on his birthday. In six previous March 1 games during his career, he has four goals and five assists (9 points). Here is a summary of Francis’ career games on his birthday:

YearGameGM# G A PTS PIM
1983 Buffalo at Hartford 123 2 0 2 0
1985 Hartford at New Jersey 272 0 1 1 4
1987 New Jersey at Hartford 407 1 1 2 0
1988 Hartford at Winnipeg 482 0 1 1 2
1997 Pittsburgh at New Jersey 1146 0 0 0 0
2000 Carolina at Phoenix 1389 1 2 3 0

The Hurricanes begin their 16th back-to-back set of 2002-03 Saturday against Toronto before traveling to Washington to conclude the set on Sunday… Carolina is 11-15-3-1 in back-to-back games with a 7-7-1-0 record in the front half and a 4-8-2-1 record in the back half of back-to-back sets…The Hurricanes are 4-8-3-2 against the Southeast Division after scoring a 2-2 tie at home on Feb. 21 against Tampa Bay. Since the division was created, Carolina has a 44-23-23-3 record in 93 games against the Washington Capitals, Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning… Carolina rookies Tomas Kurka and Michael Zigomanis each scored goals in their respective NHL debuts on Wednesday making them the first duo to do so for the same team since Stanislav Chistov and Alexei Smirnov for Anaheim at St. Louis on Oct. 10, 2002.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 10-12-7-3
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 8-19-2-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 50-of-331 (15.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 262-of-320 (81.9%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Right wing Pavel Brendl, arthroscopic knee surgery, injured reserve, missed one game (Feb. 26)
Left wing Jaroslav Svoboda, shoulder, injured reserve, missed seven games (Feb. 14-26)
Right wing Jesse Boulerice, concussion, injured reserve, missed seven games (Feb. 14-26)
Right wing Jeff Heerema, wrist, injured reserve, missed nine games (Feb. 9-26)
Left wing Erik Cole, broken leg, injured reserve, missed 11 games (Feb. 5-26)
Center Rod Brind’Amour, hand surgery, injured reserve, missed 16 games (Jan. 22-Feb. 26)

CAROLINA / TORONTO NOTES
Tonight marks the third of four regular-season meetings between the Hurricanes and Toronto. The teams meet once more at RBC Center on March 25. Last spring, Carolina downed the Maple Leafs 4-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series. In the 2001-02 regular season, the teams split the four-game series by winning one game and dropping one game on home ice. Sami Kapanen led the Hurricanes with six points (5g, 1a) in the regular-season series. Bates Battaglia (2g, 2a) and captain Ron Francis (0g, 4a) eached notched four points against the Leafs last season. Mats Sundin led all Toronto scorers in the four-game set with five points (3g, 2a). Carolina holds a 34-22-10-0 all-time record against the Maple Leafs including an 18-11-5-0 home mark and a 16-11-5-0 road record.

MAPLE LEAFS NOTES
Mats Sundin is on the verge of reaching two significant NHL miletsones. Sundin needs just two points for 1000 career NHL points and 12 games played for 1000 career NHL games. He would become only the fifth player to register his 1000th career NHL point in a Toronto uniform… The Maple Leafs had a record of 4-9-2-0 after the first 15 games of the season but since November 10 only Ottawa and Vancouver have a better points percentage than Toronto.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
92 O'Neill 64 24 24 48
10 Francis 64 19 24 43
17 Brind'Amour 48 14 23 37
26 Cole 53 14 13 27
20 Hlavac 60 10 16 26
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 28 3.10 7-18-2 .881
80 Weekes 41 2.49 11-19-7 .919
MAPLE LEAFS
GP G A TP
89 Mogilny 58 25 43 68
13 Sundin 58 30 26 56
11 Antropov 56 15 23 38
15 Kaberle 64 7 29 36
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
20 Belfour 50 2.26 30-17-3 .922
37 Kidd 13 3.27 5-6-1 .890
Carquest

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