Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at BUFFALO, vs. MONTREAL
BUFFALO SABRES (12-18-3-1, 28 pts., 5th Northeast Division)
Friday, Dec. 26, 8 p.m., HSBC Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.
MONTREAL CANADIENS (16-15-4-1, 37 pts., 4th Northeast Division)
Saturday, Dec. 27, 7 p.m., RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
The Carolina Hurricanes take to the road Friday for an 8 p.m. match up against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena. The game opens a post-Christmas back-to-back set for Carolina, as the Hurricanes will return to Raleigh following Friday’s game to face Montreal at the RBC Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Right wing Jeff O’Neill currently leads the Hurricanes in points (19) and assists (15), and earned his 400th career NHL/Hurricanes point with his assist on the game-winning goal at Boston on Dec. 20, and is now two points shy of Pat Verbeek (403) on the franchise’s all-time points list. Winger Erik Cole (5g, 12a) ranks second on the team in scoring with 17 points. Forward Josef Vasicek leads the team in goals (9), power-play goals (5) and ranks third with 16 points. Rookie Eric Staal ranks fourth on the team with 15 points, and ranks third with seven goals.
ON THE AIR
Television: Friday, Fox Sports Net (NC & SC); Saturday, 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)
|Dec. 27||Saturday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 28||Sunday||RecZone||11:15 a.m.|
|Dec. 29||Monday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 30||Tuesday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|Dec. 31||Wednesday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 1||Thursday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|Jan. 2||Friday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 3||Saturday||RecZone||11:45 a.m.|
|Jan. 5||Monday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|Jan. 6||Tuesday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Sean Hill earned his 100th Hurricanes assist when he helped set up winger Jeff O’Neill against Dallas on Dec. 22. It was Hill’s seventh assist of 2003-04, ranking him second among Carolina defensemen in that category. Hill currently ranks third among Hurricanes blueliners with seven points this season. In 322 games in parts of six seasons with the Hurricanes, Hill has posted 25 goals and 100 assists (125 points), and accumulated 379 penalty minutes.
MILESTONE WATCH – Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley will play in his 1,200th NHL game with his next game played… With his next goal scored, Ron Francis will pass Stan Mikita (541) and take sole possession of 21st on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list… Francis (1,169) is just two points shy of tying Marcel Dionne (1,771) for fourth on the NHL’s all-time points list… Winger Jeff O’Neill is two points shy of Pat Verbeek (403) for third on the franchise’s all-time points list…
CAROLINA AT HOME: 6-4-5-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 4-9-3-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 16-of-153 (10.5%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 118-of-139 (84.9%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Bruno St. Jacques, abdominal strain, missed 10 games (11/29-12/22), day-to-day.
CAROLINA / SABRES NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Sabres meet for the second of four match ups during the 2003-04 season, and the first of two in the next three days. Buffalo took the team’s first meeting at HSBC Arena on Nov. 21, 5-0 behind Mika Noronen’s third career shutout. The teams meet again on Monday, Dec. 29 at the RBC Center, and will wrap their four-game season series on Jan. 25 in Raleigh.
Last season, the Sabres took two of the team’s four match ups, and earned a point in an overtime loss to Carolina on March 12. Miroslav Satan led all scorers in last season’s series with five points (3g, 2a). Rod Brind’Amour (1g, 2a), Ron Francis (1g, 2a), Bruno St. Jacques (0g, 3a) and Bates Battaglia (1g, 2a) led the Hurricanes with three points each in the four 2002-03 games. Carolina posts a 55-78-18-1 all-time mark against the Sabres, including a 31-34-11-0 home record and a 24-44-7-1 mark in Buffalo.
CAROLINA / CANADIENS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Canadiens meet for the third game of their four-game season series. Carolina managed just one point in the teams’ back-to-back, home-and-home set, a 1-1 tie at the RBC Center on Dec. 5. Montreal took the team’s meeting the following night at Bell Centre by a 3-1 margin.
Montreal went 2-1-1-0 against Carolina last year, winning once at home and on the road, and scoring a 2-2 tie at RBC Center on Nov. 1. The Hurricanes scored their lone 2002-03 win against Montreal at Bell Centre, 7-3 on Nov. 23. Erik Cole led all Carolina skaters against the Habs last season with five points (3g, 2a), including a hat trick in the Nov. 23 game. The Hurricanes are 46-85-20-0 against Montreal all time, including a 28-36-13-0 home mark and an 18-49-7-0 road record.
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS