Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at ATLANTA
ATLANTA THRASHERS (19-20-4-2, 44 pts., 2nd Southeast Division)
Friday, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta
The Carolina Hurricanes take on the Atlanta Thrashers in the second half of a back-to-back set of games against Southeast Division rivals. The Hurricanes were defeated by the Lightning 5-4 on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. Today’s game is also the first half of a home-and-home series with the Thrashers. Carolina and Atlanta will meet again on Sunday at the RBC Center for a 1:30 p.m. matinee.
Right wing Jeff O’Neill currently leads the Hurricanes in points (22) and assists (17). O’Neill passed Pat Verbeek (403) and took sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time points list with assist on Eric Staal’s goal against Ottawa on Jan. 11. Forward Josef Vasicek leads the team in goals (12), power-play goals (5) and ranks second with 21 points.
ON THE AIR
Television: Fox Sports Net (NC & SC)
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)
|Jan. 16||Friday||Philips Arena||11:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 17||Saturday||RecZone||11:45 a.m.|
|Jan. 19||Monday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|Jan. 20||Tuesday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 21||Wednesday||Continental Airlines Arena||11:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 22||Thursday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|Jan. 23||Friday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
Hurricanes captain Ron Francis is one goal shy of Maurice Richard (544) on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. The Hurricanes cut a 5-1 first-period deficit down to just one goal on Thursday night in Tampa Bay, but were unable to complete the comeback in a 5-4 loss. Josef Vasicek netted a goal and added a pair of assists and Erik Cole (1g, 1a) and Ron Francis (1g, 1a) each also tallied multiple-point games. Winger Pavel Brendl tallied his first goal in a Hurricanes uniform in his season debut with Carolina. Jamie Storr replaced Kevin Weekes at the 3:24 mark of the first period, and stopped 21 of 24 shots in taking the loss.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 10-7-6-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 4-12-3-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 21-of-205 (10.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 151-of-183 (82.5%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
The Hurricanes have no injuries to report.
CAROLINA / THRASHERS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Thrashers meet tonight for the second of six regular-season match ups, and first at Philips Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the Thrashers 5-1 at the RBC Center on Nov. 13, as Erik Cole (1g, 1a) and Ron Francis (1g, 1a) led the scoring. Last season, Atlanta scored its first two regular-season victories against the Hurricanes after Carolina posted a 12-0-3-0 record against the Thrashers in Atlanta’s first three seasons. Atlanta downed the Hurricanes for the first time on Dec. 27 in Raleigh and again March 26 in Atlanta. Carolina won two of the teams’ five matches, including one in overtime on Dec. 20 at Philips Arena. Jeff O’Neill posted six points (3g, 3a) in the five-game regular-season series to lead Carolina and Ilya Kovalchuk led Atlanta with nine points (6g, 3a).
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS