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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers

Tuesday, 12.19.2006 / 9:18 AM ET / News
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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers

'CANES LOOK FOR FIRST-PLACED EFFORT AGAINST LAST-PLACED TEAM

RALEIGH, N.C. - Fresh off of a long-awaited win in Tampa Bay, the Hurricanes will try to pick up some positive momentum heading into the holidays when they take on the Flyers in Philadelphia Tuesday night.

The last-placed Flyers have struggled mightily this season. They are currently on their second six-game losing streak of the season, which ties their franchise record. Further complicating matters, they are unlikely to have Captain Peter Forsberg in the lineup against Carolina as he recovers from a concussion he sustained Saturday night.

While all that might point to an easy game for the Hurricanes on paper, don't tell that to Head Coach Peter Laviolette, who remains focused on improving his own team's performance.

"It can't be about who you're playing," said Laviolette. "It's got to be about improving your place in life and moving up in the standings. We woke up a couple of days ago out of the playoff race. We're playing a non-playoff team, but we were a non-playoff team two days ago, and we sit there right on the borderline right now."

That borderline is dangerously thin, as the Hurricanes fell from sixth to ninth place in the Eastern Conference literally overnight following their loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. However, the win in Tampa the following night brought them back into the picture and they currently occupy the eighth and final spot.

With such a small margin for error, getting back on the winning track is crucial, said 'Canes right wing Justin Williams.

"We're right on that bubble right now," he said. Getting three wins in the next three games before Christmas is huge for us."

Besides the stellar play of Cam Ward and two timely goals from Ray Whitney, the team emerged from their slump thanks to improvements in penalty killing and faceoffs. The team won 59 percent of their faceoffs against Tampa Bay, which was up from just 47 percent against Toronto and 39 percent against Colorado earlier in the week.

The penalty kill was near-perfect Saturday against the likes of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, as the 'Canes only let up a late consolation tally to St. Louis in the final minute of the game. That was a far cry from games in Vancouver and Colorado when the 'Canes let in four and three power play goals, respectively.

Such adjustments were necessary since Rod Brind'Amour picked up a lower-body injury four games ago. In his absence, others have stepped up to fill that gap.

"Roddy consumes a lot of that, penalty kills and faceoffs," said Laviolette." I thought that guys like Eric Staal and Trevor Letowski was pretty good in the faceoff circle the other night, which is good. Specialty teams in general I thi

nk are vital to winning hockey games. That's the difference between winning and losing."

Brind'Amour practiced with the team on Monday but is still listed as day-to-day.

Center Keith Aucoin, who was called up to the Hurricanes following Andrew Ladd's

emergency appendectomy last week, has been providing a boost for the team. The 28-year-old minor-league veteran recorded his second-ever NHL point with an assist on Whitney's first goal of the game against Tampa Bay. He is also a combined 10/13 in the faceoff circle in the two games since his recall.

"He's been great because he's jumped in and contributed," said Laviolette of Aucoin. "He's at a point where he doesn't want to get by without just making mistakes. He wants to contribute, and it showed the other night."

With such a premium being placed on wins at the moment, Laviolette hopes the entire can make such contributions tomorrow night, whether it is against the last-placed team or the first.

"We need to make sure that we're ready to play, period," he said.


Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Wachovia Center * Philadelphia, PA
Hurricanes: 16-14-4 (36 pts.), 3rd Southeast Division
Flyers: 8-20-4 (20 pts.), 5th Atlantic Division

TOMORROW’S GAME
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Philadelphia for a Tuesday night meeting with the Flyers at Wachovia Center (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes will return to Raleigh following Tuesday’s game to prepare for a back-to-back set, Friday at the RBC Center against the NY Islanders and Saturday at Florida prior to the two-day holiday break.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Winger Erik Cole earned his 200th NHL/Hurricanes point with an assist, Dec. 16 at Tampa Bay
  • Winger Scott Walker is two assists shy of 200 for his NHL career

CURRENT STREAKS

  • Right wing Justin Williams has earned points in each of the last four games (12/8-12/16: 3g, 2a)
  • Center Eric Staal has earned points in each of the last four games (12/8-12/16: 1g, 4a)
  • Center Eric Belanger has earned assists and points in each of the last two games (12/15-12/16: 0g, 2a)
  • Winger Erik Cole has earned points in each of the last two games (12/15-12/16: 1g, 1a)

Television: FSN South
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network – WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh – flagship), Pirate Radio – WGHB 1250 AM and WDLX 930 AM (Greenville, NC… check listings for games), News Talk Radio WFNC 640 AM (Fayetteville, NC… Saturdays and Sundays)
Internet: www.nhl.com, www.CarolinaHurricanes.com

CAROLINA NOTES
In 2006, Hurricanes forward Cory Stillman became just the sixth player in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships with two different teams. A member of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Stillman also became just the second player in the history of the league to assist on Stanley Cup-clinching goals for two different teams (Bryan Trottier was the first, doing so with both the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins). After missing the first 31 games of the 2006-07 regular season following shoulder surgery in the off-season, Stillman has had an impact on the score sheet in his first three games this season, registering three assists. The winger now has points in 16 of his last 18 games played dating back to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils on May 14.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 8-5-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 8-9-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 29-of-200 (14.5%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 156-of-189 (82.5%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Forward Andrew Ladd, appendix, out three to four weeks, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, lower body, day-to-day, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman David Tanabe, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Captain Rod Brind’Amour, lower body, day-to-day, missed 4 games
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out, missed 34 games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
Tue., Dec. 19
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
Wed., Dec. 20
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Thurs., Dec. 21
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Dec. 22
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Dec. 23
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
BankAtlantic Center, Florida
Sun., Dec. 24
OFF
Mon., Dec. 25
OFF
Tue., Dec. 26
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Wed., Dec. 27
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center , Raleigh
Thurs., Dec. 28
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
Fri., Dec. 29
TBD
TBD
TBD
Sat., Dec. 30
Team Practice
10:30 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Sun., Dec. 31
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh

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

AGAINST THE FLYERS
Tuesday’s game marks the first of four 2006-07 meetings between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers. Carolina and Philadelphia will meet again in 11 days as the Flyers travel to Raleigh for the Hurricanes’ annual New Year’s Eve game at the RBC Center. Last season, three of the four meetings between the clubs went into overtime, with two of those games ending in a shootout. The Flyers had a shootout win on March 8 at Wachovia Center and an overtime win at the RBC Center on Dec. 29, while the Hurricanes won an 8-6 thriller at the RBC Center on Oct. 28, and scored a 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia on Jan. 17. The Hurricanes post a 24-48-13-3 all-time record against the Flyers, with a 14-21-10-1 home record and a 10-27-6-2 record in Philadelphia.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

Hurricanes
GP
G
A
PTS
17 Brind'Amour
30
10
26
36
13 Whitney
34
12
21
33
11 Williams
34
14
18
32
26 Cole
34
13
19
32
12 Staal
34
17
14
31

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Ward
26
2.98
14-9-3
.893
47 Grahame
9
3.25
2-5-1
.894

Philadelphia
GP
G
A
PTS
12 Gagne
32
16
10
26
22 Knuble
26
13
9
22
8 Sanderson
26
8
9
17

21 Forsberg

23
7
10
17
27 Robitaille
27
5
12
17

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Niittymaki
28
3.24
6-16-4
.893
42 Esche
7
5.64
2-4-0
.820
35 Houle
1
30.00
0-0-0
.667

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72