Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. FLORIDA
FLORIDA PANTHERS (27-31-14-4, 72 pts., 3rd Southeast Division)
Thursday, March 25, 7 p.m., RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
ON THE AIR
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)
The Carolina Hurricanes conclude a two-game home stand on Thursday in the first of three games in 11 days against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Fox Sports Net, Hurricanes Radio Network). Carolina opened the current home stand on Tuesday with a hard-fought, 4-2 loss to Atlantic Division-leader Philadelphia. Following Thursday's game, the Hurricanes will travel to Long Island for a Saturday evening match up with the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
|March 25||Thursday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|March 26||Friday||RecZone||11 a.m.|
|March 27||Saturday||Nassau Coliseum||11:30 a.m.|
|March 29||Monday||Office Depot Center||11:30 a.m.|
|March 30||Tuesday||RBC Center||TBD|
|March 31||Wednesday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|April 1||Thursday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|April 2||Friday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|April 3||Saturday||RBC Center||11 a.m.|
|April 3||Sunday||Office Depot Center||11:30 a.m.|
Justin Williams (11g, 30a) leads the Hurricanes with 41 points this season. Erik Cole (17g, 22a) is two points off the lead with 39 points, and is tied for the team lead with 17 goals while playing in 74 of Carolina's 76 games. Josef Vasicek is tied with Cole in goal-scoring (17) and points (39). Vasicek is also tied with injured winger Jeff O'Neill for the team lead with four game-winning goals this season. Defenseman Sean Hill leads all Carolina blueliners and ranks fourth on the team with 37 points (12g, 25a), including points in three of the last four games (3/17-3/23: 2g, 3a). Hill's 25:12 average ice time leads the Hurricanes and ranked 10th in the league through games of March 23.
Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward will play his 200th game with the Hurricanes with his next game played.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 12-16-8-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 14-15-5-4
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 40-of-360 (11.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 275-of-335 (82.1%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Winger Pavel Brendl, fractured collarbone, 2/23 @ TOR, expected to miss 4-6 weeks, missed 15 games (2/25-3/23)
Winger Jeff O'Neill, right shoulder surgery, 3/12, missed nine games (3/8-3/23)
Forward Marty Murray, fractured left hand, expected to miss four weekes, missed eight games (3/10-3/23)
Defenseman Bruno St. Jacques, abdominal strain, day-to-day, missed six games (3/13-3/23)
Winger Erik Cole, right hamstring, day-to-day, missed one game (3/23)
AGAINST THE FLORIDA PANTHERS
The Hurricanes and the Panthers meet for their fourth of six match ups during the 2003-04 regular season, and the first of three games between the teams in the next 11 days. Florida won the teams' initial meeting on Oct. 9 in Sunrise, 3-1 before the teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Oct. 13 at the RBC Center. Carolina scored a 3-1 win at the RBC Center on Feb. 16, the teams' most recent meeting. Erik Cole (1g, 2a) and Josef Vasicek (1g, 2a) lead the Hurricanes against Florida this season with three points each. Winger Justin Williams (1g, 2a) has also posted three points against the Panthers this season in three games with Philadelphia. The Panthers won four of the teams' five 2002-03 regular-season match ups, including the three meetings in Sunrise. The Hurricanes were led by Erik Cole, Ron Francis, Sean Hill and Jeff O'Neill, who each recorded three points against Florida in the five-game regular-season series. The Hurricanes post an 18-18-10-1 all-time record against the Panthers, including an 11-9-3-0 home mark and a 7-9-7-1 road record.
2003-04 SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
|26 Van Ryn||73||12||21||33|