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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at MONTREAL, MINNESOTA

Friday, 02.27.2004 / 1:23 PM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at MONTREAL, MINNESOTA
CAROLINA HURRICANES (20-27-12-3, 55 pts., 4th Southeast Division)
at
MONTREAL CANADIENS (32-25-6-2, 72 pts., 4th Northeast Division)
Saturday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.

ON THE AIR
Television: 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)
Internet: www.nhl.com

ON THE AIR
Television: none
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

 

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes resume their four-game road swing on Saturday at Montreal’s Bell Centre against the Canadiens before wrapping up the road stint at Minnesota on Sunday. Carolina began their four-game excursion on Feb. 23 at Air Canada Centre, posting a 2-1 win against the Maple Leafs before traveling to Washington’s MCI Center for another 2-1 win against the Capitals.

Forward Josef Vasicek is tied for the team lead with 33 points (16g, 17a) this season. Vasicek’s 16 goals and six power-play goals rank first on the team. Winger Justin Williams is tied with Vasicek with 33 points (9g, 24a) and leads Carolina forwards with a plus-11 rating. Right wing Jeff O’Neill ranks third with 32 points (12g, 20a) while playing in all 62 of Carolina’s games. Winger Erik Cole is currently riding a three-game goals and points streak (2/21-2/25: 3g, 0a).

PRACTICE SCHEDULE

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.

CAROLINA NOTES
The Hurricanes begin their 13th of 17 back-to-back sets this season on Saturday at Montreal’s Bell Centre, and will conclude the set on Sunday at Minnesota. Carolina completed its 12th back-to-back set on Feb. 4 at Anaheim, falling 3-2 to the Mighty Ducks. The Hurricanes are currently 8-13-3-0 in back-to-back games, with a 2-8-2-0 record in the front halves of those sets and a 6-5-1-0 record in the back halves… Hurricanes defenseman Sean Hill is having one of the best runs a Carolina player has had this season. The Duluth, Minn., native, who recently celebrated his 34th birthday, has recorded 16 points in the team’s last 20 games (1/11-2/25: 5g, 11a), including nine points in the last 10 games (1/31-2/25: 4g, 5a). Along with Hill, Hurricanes forward Josef Vasicek has 15 points (5g, 10a) in the last 19 games. The 23-year-old notched the 100th point of his Hurricanes/NHL career when he netted his sixth power-play goal of the season against Anaheim’s Martin Gerber on Feb. 4. Also, winger Erik Cole has nine points (6g, 3a) in the last 13 games, including four of the last five (3g, 1a).

MILESTONE WATCH
Center Rod Brind’Amour will play in his 300th Hurricanes game with his next game played.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 11-12-8-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 9-15-4-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 34-of-289 (11.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 221-of-271 (81.5%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Aaron Ward, left wrist, surgery 1/21, out approx. six weeks, missed 15 games (1/21-2/25)
Winger Jaroslav Svoboda, abdominal strain, day-to-day, missed three games (2/21-2/25)
Winger Pavel Brendl, fractured collarbone, 2/23 @ TOR, expected to miss 4-6 weeks, missed one game (2/25)

CAROLINA / CANADIENS NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Canadiens meet for fourth and final time this season on Saturday at Montreal’s Bell Centre. 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, but Carolina scored an overtime win against the Canadiens on Dec. 27 in the teams’ final meeting this season in Raleigh. Justin Williams leads the Hurricanes with three points (0g, 3a) against Montreal this season, while Sean Hill has two goals in Carolina’s three games against the Canadiens this season.

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 47-85-20-0 against Montreal all time, including a 29-36-13-0 home mark and an 18-49-7-0 road record.

CAROLINA / WILD NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Wild meet for the first and only time this season on Sunday at the XCel Energy Center. This marks just the sixth meeting between the teams since the Wild joined the NHL for the 2000-01 season. Last year, the teams split a two-game series with each team winning at home. The Wild scored a 2-1 win in St. Paul on Dec. 15 to open that set, but the Hurricanes answered on March 7 in Raleigh, posting a 1-0 shutout victory behind Kevin Weekes’ 22-save, first-star performance. The Hurricanes are 3-1-1-0 all-time against Minnesota, including a 2-0-0-0 home record and a 1-1-1-0 mark in St. Paul.

2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
63 Vasicek 62 16 17 33
11 Williams 60 9 24 33
92 O'Neill 62 12 20 32
26 Cole 61 13 17 30
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 1 1.00 1-0-0 .947
80 Weekes 53 2.24 19-22-10 .914
CANADIENS
GP G A TP
71 Ribeiro 64 16 37 53
73 Ryder 64 19 29 48
11 Koivu 51 11 33 44
20 Zednik 64 19 17 36
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
60 Theodore 54 2.18 25-23-5 .922
30 Garon 14 2.44 7-4-1 .909
WILD
GP G A TP
15 Brunette 63 11 25 36
9 Daigle 59 12 20 32
33 Zholtok 55 13 15 28
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
30 Roloson 39 1.96 15-16-8 .931
35 Fernandez 27 2.50 6-10-8 .914

at
MINNESOTA WILD (21-24-16-2, 60 pts., 5th Northwest Division)
Sunday, Feb. 29, 8 p.m., XCel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

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