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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. NY ISLANDERS

Saturday, 01.24.2004 / 9:44 PM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. NY ISLANDERS
CAROLINA HURRICANES (16-21-9-2, 43 pts., 3rd Southeast Division)
vs.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (22-20-4-1, 49 pts., 3rd Atlantic Division)
Friday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m., RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes return to the RBC Center for the first of two weekend home games to face the New York Islanders on Friday at 7 p.m. The Hurricanes will play host to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday in a 1:30 p.m. matinee. Friday’s game will mark Hurricanes captain Ron Francis’ 1,700th NHL game, as he becomes just the third player in NHL history to achieve that milestone.

Right wing Jeff O’Neill currently leads the Hurricanes in points (27) and assists (17). O’Neill passed Pat Verbeek (192) and took sole possession of fifth on the franchise’s all-time goal-scoring list with his power-play goal against Ottawa on Jan. 20. On Jan. 11, O’Neill passed Verbeek (403) and took sole possession of third place on the franchise’s all-time points list with an assist on Eric Staal’s goal. Forward Josef Vasicek leads the team in goals (13), power-play goals (5) and ranks third with 23 points... Defenseman Sean Hill has assists in four of the last six games (1/11-1/21: 0g, 5a).

ON THE AIR
Television: Fox-DT
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)
Internet: www.nhl.com

PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Jan. 23 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 24 Saturday RecZone 11:45 a.m.
Jan. 25 Sunday none
Jan. 26 Monday RBC Center 11 a.m.
Jan. 27 Tuesday Air Canada Center 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 28 Wednesday RBC Center 11 a.m.

CAROLINA NOTES
Hurricanes captain Ron Francis will play in his 1,700th NHL game with his next game played… Francis is one goal shy of Maurice Richard (544) on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list… Jeff O’Neill has recently led an upswing in the Carolina’s offensive production, scoring six goals in the last seven games (1/9-1/21: 6g, 1a). During O’Neill’s hot streak, the Hurricanes have averaged 2.29 goals per game, up from their season average of 1.85. Similarly, captain Ron Francis has notched seven points (1g, 6a) in the last eight games, center Eric Staal has five points (2g, 3a) in the last seven games, defenseman Sean Hill has five assists in the last six games, winger Pavel Brendl has four points (1g, 3a) in the last five games, winger Erik Cole has four points (2g, 2a) in the last six games and Josef Vasicek has five points (2g, 3a) in the last five games.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 10-9-6-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 6-12-3-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 24-of-219 (11.0%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 165-of-201 (82.1%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Aaron Ward, left wrist, surgery 1/21, out approx. six weeks, missed one game (1/21)
Center Kevyn Adams, knee infection, day-to-day, missed one game (1/21)

CAROLINA / ISLANDERS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Islanders meet for the second of four match ups during the 2003-04 season, and the first of two at the RBC Center. The Hurricanes downed the Islanders 2-0 on Nov. 26 in the team’s first meeting this season behind Kevin Weekes’ 28-save shutout performance. Bret Hedican (1g, 1a) led the Hurricanes with two points in that game. Carolina and the Islanders meet again on March 27 at Nassau Coliseum and wrap the four-game season series on April 2 in Raleigh.

The Hurricanes and Islanders split last season’s four-game set with each team winning once and losing once on home ice. Carolina scored victories against the Islanders on Oct. 30 (4-2 at RBC Center) and Dec. 28 (3-0 at Nassau Coliseum), and New York won on Oct. 22 (4-1 at Nassau Coliseum) and April 6 (2-1 at RBC Center) last season. Rod Brind’Amour (2g, 2a) and Sami Kapanen (3g, 1a) led the Hurricanes in last season’s four-game set. Carolina posts a 40-35-9-2 all-time record against the Islanders, including a 21-16-5-1 mark at home and a 19-19-4-1 record at Nassau Coliseum.

2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
92 O'Neill 48 10 17 27
11 Williams 49 6 21 27
63 Vasicek 48 13 10 23
12 Staal 48 9 13 22
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Storr 12 2.93 0-7-2 .883
80 Weekes 41 2.12 16-16-7 .918
ISLANDERS
GP G A TP
7 Hunter 42 15 14 29
21 Czerkawski 46 15 14 29
55 Blake 45 14 15 29
12 Kvasha 46 9 20 29
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
39 DiPietro 23 2.37 10-9-1 .906
30 Snow 28 2.73 12-12-3 .902

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