Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at TORONTO
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (34-16-9-3, 80 pts., 1st Northeast Division)
Monday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ont.
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Monday to begin a four-game road swing that will take them through Washington, Montreal and Minnesota before returning to Raleigh on March 2. This marks the fourth and final meeting between the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs this season, and the second between the teams in the past five days.
Forward Josef Vasicek leads the Hurricanes with 32 points (16g, 16a), 16 goals and six power-play goals, while playing in all 60 of the team’s games this season. Winger Justin Williams ranks second with 31 points (9g, 22a) and a plus-12 plus/minus rating. Right wing Jeff O’Neill ranks third with 30 points (11g, 19a) while playing in all 60 of Carolina’s games.
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)
|Feb. 23||Monday||Air Canada Centre||11:30 a.m.|
|Feb. 24||Tuesday||Air Canada Centre||11 a.m.|
|Feb. 25||Wednesday||MCI Center||11:30 a.m.|
|Feb. 27||Friday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|Feb. 28||Saturday||Bell Centre||11:30 a.m.|
|Feb. 29||Sunday||XCel Energy Center||11:30 a.m.|
On Feb. 21 at the RBC Center, Carolina captain Ron Francis scored the team’s second goal of the game, and the 544th of his NHL career, when he beat Andrew Raycroft late in the first period. The marker tied Francis with Maurice “The Rocket” Richard for 20th on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list.
Winger Jeff O’Neill is one goal shy of Geoff Sanderson (196) for fourth on the franchise’s all-time goal-scoring list ... Goaltender Arturs Irbe will play his 300th game with the Hurricanes with his next game played.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 11-12-8-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 7-15-4-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 31-of-277 (11.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 210-of-259 (81.1%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Aaron Ward, left wrist, surgery 1/21, out approx. six weeks, missed 13 games (1/21-2/21)
Center Kevyn Adams, left MCL, injured 1/29, out approx. three-four weeks, missed eight games (1/31-2/21)
Winger Jaroslav Svoboda, abdominal strain, day-to-day, missed one game (2/21)
CAROLINA / MAPLE LEAFS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Maple Leafs meet for the fourth and final time this season, and the second time in the last five days. Toronto took the teams’ first meeting this season at the RBC Center on Nov. 2 by a 2-1 margin, but the Hurricanes returned the favor at Air Canada Centre on Jan. 27 when Kevin Weekes pitched a 2-0 shutout. Carolina earned a point on Feb. 19 when the Leafs needed a Darcy Tucker overtime goal to secure a 2-1 win in Raleigh.
The Hurricanes went winless against Toronto in 2002-03, earning one point (0-3-1-0). Josef Vasicek led all Hurricanes in scoring against Toronto last season with five points (2g, 3a) in four games. The Hurricanes are 35-25-11-0 all-time against the Leafs, including an 18-12-6-0 home mark and a 17-13-5-0 record in Toronto.
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS