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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

Friday, 01.13.2006 / 10:16 AM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

Friday, Dec. 23, 7 p.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh, NC
Listen LIVE!

Hurricanes: 21-9-2 (44 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Panthers: 18-12-3 (39 pts.), Southeast Division, 4th place

Friday's Game
The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes wrap up their five-game, pre-holiday home stand on Friday against Southeast Division rival Florida (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes scored victories in each of the home stand's first four games, knocking off Chicago (12/13: 5-3), Columbus (12/15: 2-1), New Jersey (12/17: 4-1) and Tampa Bay (12/20: 6-4) to run their home record to 13-4-0 this season, the second-best home record in the Eastern Conference.

The Hurricanes currently post a 22-9-2 record, including wins in six of the last seven games (12/6-12/20: 6-1-0), and held the largest lead of any NHL division leader with a seven-point edge over Tampa Bay through games of Dec. 21. With 46 points in their first 33 games, the Hurricanes are off to the best start in franchise history, eclipsing the previous first-33-games record of 42 points, accomplished in 1986-87. The team is currently on pace for a 114-point season.

Hurricanes center Eric Staal led the NHL in goals (24) and ranked tied for fourth in the league with 47 points through games of Dec. 21. Staal has notched points in 26 of the Hurricanes' 33 games this season, and had a career-high 10-game points streak (10/20-11/11: 7g, 12a) prior to the Hurricanes' Nov. 12 shutout loss against Atlanta. He ranked tied for first in the league with three shorthanded goals and tied for ninth in the league with nine power-play goals, through games of Dec. 21.

Hurricanes Current Streaks and Milestone Watch

  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour has earned points in each of the last five games (12/10-12/20: 4g, 2a)
  • Goaltender Martin Gerber has earned wins in each of the last four games (12/13-12/20)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has earned assists and points in each of the last four games (12/13-12/20: 1g, 6a)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman has earned assists and points in each of the last three games (12/15-12/20: 0g, 6a)
  • Center Eric Staal has earned goals, assists and points in each of the last two games (12/17-12/20: 3g, 2a)
  • Left wing Erik Cole has earned goals, assists and points in each of the last two games (12/17-12/20: 2g, 2a)
  • Center Matt Cullen has earned assists and points in each of the last two games (12/17-12/20: 1g, 2a)

Television: None
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network - WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh - flagship), WYSR 1590 AM (High Point), WMFD 630 AM (Wilmington)
Internet: www.carolinahurricanes.com

Carolina Notes
Prior to the season, Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette was named head coach for the United States' men's ice hockey team for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Along with Laviolette, Hurricanes video coordinator Chris Huffine will represent the Hurricanes on Team USA's staff in Turin, Italy. Hurricanes winger Erik Cole got the nod when USA Hockey announced the Olympic roster on Dec. 19, and will suit up in February for the red, white and blue in his first Olympics. Cole last represented the United States at the 2005 World Championships where he had a goal and five assists (6 points) in seven games for the Laviolette-led squad.

On Dec. 21, Switzerland and the Czech Republic called upon the services of their respective native sons, goaltender Martin Gerber and defenseman Frantisek Kaberle. Gerber last backstopped Team Switzerland at the 2005 World Championships where he played in six of the team's seven games and recorded a 3-3 record, a 1.67 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and one shutout. Kaberle last saw international action when he helped the Czech Republic to the gold medal at the 2005 World Championships, scoring one goal while playing in all nine of Team Czech's games.

Eric Staal, the Hurricanes' leading scorer and the NHL's leading goal scorer (24 - through games of Dec. 21), was named to the three-man reserve list for Team Canada when the defending Olympic gold-medal-winning nation announced its 2006 roster on Dec. 21.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 13-4-0
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 9-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 40-of-209 (19.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 147-of-186 (79.0%)

Injury Report

  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, groin, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Left wing Andrew Ladd, torn meniscus (right knee), surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 6-8 weeks, missed 6 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 17 games
  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, wrist, injured reserve, missed 18 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule
Dec. 23 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 24-25 Saturday-Sunday none
Dec. 26 Monday RBC Center 10:00 a.m.
Dec. 27 Tuesday SP Times Forum 10:00 a.m.
Dec. 28 Wednesday Corel Centre 11:30 p.m.
Dec. 29 Thursday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 30 Friday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
Dec. 31 Saturday RecZone 10:30 a.m.

*All times are local - Times and locations subject to change

Against the Panthers
The Hurricanes and Panthers meet for the third time this season and the second of four games between the teams at the RBC Center. In the team's first two meetings this season, Carolina netminder Martin Gerber scored shutout victories, 2-0 at the RBC Center on Nov. 5, and 1-0 at the BankAtlantic Center on Nov. 11. The Southeast Division rivals will meet next on Jan. 25 in Sunrise, Fla., before concluding the season series with four games in March.

The teams skated to a 2-2-2-0 season series tie in 2003-04. Erik Cole (2g, 4a) and Josef Vasicek (2g, 4a) led the way for Carolina in 2003-04 while Olli Jokinen (1g, 7a) paced the Panthers. The Hurricanes post a 22-19-11-1 all-time record against Florida, including a 14-9-3-0 home mark and an 8-10-8-1 record in South Florida.

Hurricanes vs. Panthers 2005-06 Schedule
Nov. 5 RBC Center W, 2-0
Nov. 11 BankAtlantic Center W, 1-0
Dec. 23 RBC Center 7 p.m.
Jan. 25 BankAtlantic Center 7 p.m.
March 3 RBC Center 7 p.m.
March 10 BankAtlantic Center 7:30 p.m.
March 11 BankAtlantic Center 7:30 p.m.
March 31 RBC Center 7 p.m.

Carolina
GP
G
A
PTS
12 Staal
33
24
23
47
61 Stillman
32
7
24
31
11 Williams
33
13
17
30
17 Brind'Amour
29
13
19
29

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L-OT
SV %
29 Gerber
24
2.55
16-6-1
.915
30 Ward
13
4.05
6-3-1
.865


Panthers
GP
G
A
PTS
12 Jokinen
35
13
19
32
16 Horton
25
16
5
21
9 Weiss
35
9
10
19
26 Van Ryn
34
2
15
17

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L-OT
SV %
1 Luongo
32
3.17
12-15-4
.913
29 McLennan
9
3.10
0-4-0
.891

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