Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (19-33-8-2, 48 pts., 5th Southeast Division)
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Washington’s MCI Center as their four-game road swing continues on Wednesday against the Capitals. The Hurricanes began their road swing on the right foot Monday night by scoring a 2-1 win against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Ron Francis scored the game-winner during a Carolina power play, his 545th career goal, moving him past Maurice “The Rocket” Richard and into sole possession of 20th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list.
Forward Josef Vasicek is tied for the team lead with 32 points (16g, 16a) this season. Vasicek’s 16 goals and six power-play goals rank first on the team. Winger Justin Williams is tied with Vasicek with 32 points (9g, 23a) and leads Carolina forwards with a plus-11 rating. Right wing Jeff O’Neill ranks third with 31 points (11g, 20a) while playing in all 61 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. 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.|
|March 1||Monday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|March 2||Tuesday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|March 3||Wednesday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|March 4||Thursday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|March 5||Friday||Philips Arena||11:30 a.m.|
|March 6||Saturday||RBC Center||10:30 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. In the Hurricanes’ next game, Francis passed Richard and took sole possession of 20th when he scored the game-winning, power-play goal en route to a 2-1 victory against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
– 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… Center Rod Brind’Amour is two games shy of 300 with the Hurricanes.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 11-12-8-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 8-15-4-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 33-of-280 (11.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 216-of-265 (81.5%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Aaron Ward, left wrist, surgery 1/21, out approx. six weeks, missed 14 games (1/21-2/23)
Winger Jaroslav Svoboda, abdominal strain, day-to-day, missed two games (2/21-2/23)
Winger Pavel Brendl, fractured collarbone, 2/23 @ TOR, expected to miss 4-6 weeks
CAROLINA / CAPITALS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Capitals meet for the final of six 2003-04 meetings on Wednesday at MCI Center. The Capitals took the teams’ first four meetings this season by a combined score of 18-6 before Carolina earned a 3-3 tie in the last meeting on Feb. 12 in Raleigh. Winger Justin Williams has notched four points (1g, 3a) in three games against Washington this season, and Ron Francis (0g, 3a) and Eric Staal (1g, 2a) have posted three points each while playing in all five of Carolina’s games against the Capitals this season.
The Capitals won the 2002-03 five-game set between the clubs, 4-1-0-0. Ron Francis (3g, 0a), Josef Vasicek (2g, 1a), Jeff O’Neill (1g, 2a) and Jan Hlavac (1g, 2a) led the Hurricanes in scoring against Washington last season with three points each in the five-game set. The Hurricanes are 28-52-14-1 all-time against the Capitals, including a 15-23-10-1 home mark and a 13-29-4-0 record in Washington.
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS