Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. PITTSBURGH
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (5-10-4-1, 15 pts., 5th Atlantic Division)
Saturday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m., RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
The Carolina Hurricanes return home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins at the RBC Center, the first game of a three-game homestand. Carolina is currently in its sixth of 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, having fallen to the Philadelphia Flyers Friday afternoon at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The Hurricanes are 3-6-2-0 in back-to-back games this season, including a 1-4-1-0 record in the front halves and a 2-2-1-0 record in the second halves. Pittsburgh is also in the midst of a back-to-back scenario, having played host to the NY Rangers on Friday night. Following Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, the Hurricanes host Nashville on Wednesday and Montreal on Friday before departing on a four-game, nine-day road trip through Canada.
Goaltender Kevin Weekes had his shutout streak snapped at 140:49 (11/20-11/28) Friday when Jeremy Roenick scored in the first period in Philadelphia. It was his second-longest shutout streak this season. Weekes recorded consecutive shutouts for the second time this season with a 0-0 blanking of the Lightning on Sunday followed by a 2-0 victory against the Islanders on Wednesday. He set a career-high for shutout sequence earlier this season with a stretch of 183:16, from Oct. 22-30. That streak included shutouts on Oct. 23 at Boston (2-0) and Oct. 28 against San Jose (3-0).
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); WSJS 600 AM (Winston-Salem); WNMX 106.1 FM (Charlotte)
|Nov. 29||Saturday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 1||Monday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|Dec. 2||Tuesday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|Dec. 3||Wednesday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
Winger Erik Cole currently leads the team with 15 points (5g, 10a), despite missing one game (11/9) due to an elbow injury. Forward Josef Vasicek currently leads the team in goals (9), power-play goals (5) and ranks fourth in points (12). Jeff O’Neill leads the team with 11 assists and ranks tied for second on the team with 13 points (2g, 11a). Rookie centerman Eric Staal ranks tied for second among Carolina skaters with 13 points and tied for second with five goals.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 4-3-4-0
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 2-7-3-0
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 13-of-107 (12.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 81-of-98 (82.7%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Glen Wesley – Injured Reserve - shoulder contusion, Nov. 18 vs. PHI, missed 5 games
Defenseman Aaron Ward – upper body injury, missed 2 games
CAROLINA / PENGUINS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Penguins meet for the second of four match ups during the 2003-04 season and the first at the RBC Center. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie on Oct. 22 at Mellon Arena, with Ron Francis scoring the lone goal for the Hurricanes. Pittsburgh and Carolina will meet once more before Christmas – on Dec. 18 at the RBC Center. The season series concludes on March 19, again at Mellon Arena.
Last season, the teams split a four-game series, winning once at home and scoring a shutout win on the road. Craig Adams (0g, 3a) and Kevyn Adams (2g, 1a) led Carolina against Pittsburgh in 2002-03 with three points each. Goaltender Kevin Weekes recorded a 4-0 shutout on March 6 at Mellon Arena en route a 2-1-0 record in three games against Pittsburgh. Weekes posted a 1.01 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage against the Pens in 2002-03. The Hurricanes are 37-43-11-0 all-time against Pittsburgh, including a 20-21-5-0 home mark and 17-22-6-0 road record.
Oct. 22, 2003: Hurricanes 1, Penguins 1 (OT)
The Carolina Hurricanes skated to a 1-1 tie with Pittsburgh when Ron Francis notched his first goal of 2003-04 to take Carolina’s unbeaten streak to three games. Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the first overall selection of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, stopped 35 of 36 shots he faced, and earned first-star honors. Hurricanes netminder Kevin Weekes lowered his goals-against average to 1.79 on the season by turning away 22 of 23 Pittsburgh shots.
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS