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BACK-TO-BACK GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Anaheim Ducks

Thursday, 12.28.2006 / 9:37 AM / News
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BACK-TO-BACK GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Anaheim Ducks

HURRICANES AIM TO KEEP ROLLING THROUGH TOUGH STRETCH

Back-to-back games are nothing new for the Hurricanes. They have already had 10 sets this season, including three in December. Those stretches are an extremely grueling part of the schedule as they don't give much opportunity to rest and often require a lot of travel.

That being said, the Hurricanes haven't had a back-to-back set quite like this one.

Starting this Thursday, the Hurricanes will take on the top two teams in the National Hockey League, the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks, on consecutive nights. The 'Canes will play the Sabres in Buffalo before returning home to play the first-placed Ducks on Friday night.

Even though the competition in those two games is as tough as it could possibly be, the Hurricanes aren't treating them much differently than they do any other.

"They're all tough," said Head Coach Peter Laviolette of back-to-back games. "Any time a team is waiting for you when you had to play the night before, it's a disadvantage. Obviously they're two good teams, top in the east and top in the west, so we've got our work cut out for us."

By Friday's game, Anaheim will have had three full days off to rest and prepare for the Hurricanes.

Although Buffalo and Anaheim have been at the top of the NHL standings since the start of the season and haven't looked back, Laviolette knows his team won't be intimidated.

"We're not looking at it like we have to conquer the big dragon," he said. "I'd like to think we're as good as they are. I don't think they're the heavy favorites and we're the big underdogs, I think its two good teams playing each other and we need to get a win."

Getting a win is something the Hurricanes have done regularly the last few weeks. The team has won a season-high five games in a row, completely balancing out the five-game losing streak they had immediately prior to that. Now that they're back on track, the team wants to show what it can do against the toughest competition there is.

"If you want to be the best team in the conference, you have to start beating the top teams," said defenseman Glen Wesley. "We need to play with consistency against better teams and start to beat them."

Although the results have been consistent during this winning streak, the team is hoping for some improvement in the consistency of their actual play. Although they won the last two games against the division rival Florida Panthers, they had to come back from early deficits to do so.

"We're happy that we're getting the wins, but I don't know that we're overly happy with the way we're playing," said Captain Rod Brind'Amour. "The bottom line is winning, and that's what we've been doing lately. I don't know that we've played that well in some of the games, but we've found ways to win and that's all you've got to do."

If the Hurricanes have any kind of advantage in this situation, it's that they've been here many times before and know what to expect. They are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the most times having played back-to-back games in the entire league.

"It seems like we've played a lot of games, but everybody else has too," said Brind'Amour. "Everybody has tough parts in the schedule, and we seem to have had ours in the first half, so you hope that that means you'll have a better second half."

The good news is that the most hectic part of the schedule seems to be coming to an end. After all the back-to-back games they've played so far this year, Carolina only has four sets remaining all year - one in each month. Of those remaining four, one set on April 6th and 7th features both games at home.

Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres
Thursday, Dec. 28, 7 p.m. (ET)
HSBC Arena * Buffalo, NY
Hurricanes: 20-14-4 (44 pts.) 2nd Southeast Division
Sabres:
26-7-3 (55 pts.), 1st Northeast Division

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Anaheim Ducks
**ROD BRIND'AMOUR NIGHT**
Friday, Dec. 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center * Raleigh, NC
Ducks: 28-5-6 (62 pts.) 1st Pacific Division

BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
The Carolina Hurricanes carry a five-game winning streak into a back-to-back set against the top two teams in the National Hockey League when they take on the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Buffalo Sabres, on Thursday at HSBC Arena (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network).

The Hurricanes will return to Raleigh following Thursday’s game to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Friday at the RBC Center (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes and the NHL will honor Rod Brind’Amour’s 1,000 NHL points accomplishment prior to Friday’s game. Brind’Amour earned his 1,000th NHL point on Nov. 4 with an assist in Carolina’s 3-2 win at Ottawa. Prior to his 1,000th point, Brind’Amour earned his 600th NHL assist at Atlanta on Oct. 13. NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory will be on hand to present Brind’Amour with the league’s milestone markers for 1,000 points and 600 assists in a brief ceremony prior to Friday’s game.

The Hurricanes’ and NHL’s tributes to Brind’Amour will delay the start of Friday’s game by approximately four minutes, making for an estimated puck-drop time of 7:12 p.m. RBC Center doors will open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 30 minutes earlier than normal for a 7 p.m. game. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to minimize traffic delays and be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. to enjoy the pre-game festivities honoring Brind’Amour.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin is one game shy of 300 NHL/Hurricanes games played
  • Winger Scott Walker is one assist shy of 200 for his NHL career

CURRENT STREAKS

  • Right wing Justin Williams has points in eight straight games (12/8-12/23: 7g, 2a) and goals in four straight (12/19-12/23)
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have won each of their last five games (12/16-12/26: 5-0-0
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has points in five straight games (12/16-12/26: 3g, 5a) and assists in four straight (12/19-12/26)
  • Goaltender Cam Ward has won his last four games (12/16-12/26)
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour has earned points in each of the last three games (12/22-12/26: 2g, 3a)
  • Right Wing Scott Walker has earned points in each of the last three games (12/22-12/26: 2g, 1a)
  • Left Wing Cory Stillman has earned points in each of the last three games (12/22-12/26: 1g, 4a)

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

  • The Carolina Hurricanes are currently on a season-best five-game winning streak, scoring consecutive wins at Tampa Bay (12/16, 3-2), at Philadelphia (12/19, 2-1), vs. the NY Islanders (12/22, 5-1), at Florida (12/23, 3-2 OT) and vs. Florida (12/26, 4-2).
  • The Hurricanes’ power play has gone 9-for-42 (21.4%) since Cory Stillman’s return to the lineup on Dec. 11. The power-play was 26-for-182 (14.3%) in 31 games without Stillman.
  • Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 156-for-179 (87.2%) in 34 games with Rod Brind’Amour in the lineup and went 17-for-27 (63.0%) in the four games Brind’Amour missed in December.
  • The Hurricanes are now 16-7-2 with defenseman Andrew Hutchinson in the lineup.
  • Carolina posts a 16-0-2 record when holding their opponents to two or fewer goals, including each of the last five games (all wins). Likewise, the Hurricanes have a 11-0-0 record when scoring five or more goals this season.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 10-5-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 10-9-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 35-of-224 (15.6%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 173-of-206 (84.0%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Defenseman Tim Gleason, broken foot, injured reserve, out one month, missed 1 game
  • Center Kevyn Adams, wrist, injured reserve, out one to two weeks, missed 4 games
  • Forward Andrew Ladd, appendix, injured reserve, out three to four weeks, missed 6games
  • Defenseman David Tanabe, lower body, day-to-day, missed 7games
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out, missed 38 games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
Thurs., Dec. 28
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY
Fri., Dec. 29
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Dec. 30
Team Practice
10:30 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Sun., Dec. 31
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Mon., Jan. 1
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Tues., Jan. 2
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Wed., Jan. 3
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Thurs., Jan. 4
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 5
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 6
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Sun., Jan. 7
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Mon., Jan. 8
Team Practice
TBD
RBC Center, Raleigh
Tues., Jan. 9
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Wed., Jan. 10
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Thurs., Jan. 11
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 12
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh

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

AGAINST THE SABRES
Thursday’s game marks the fourth of four meetings between the Hurricanes and the Sabres. Buffalo won each of the teams’ first three games this season, scoring a 3-2 shootout win on Oct. 4 at the RBC Center, a 5-4 win at HSBC Arena on Oct. 20 and a wild 11-goal game by a 7-4 margin at the RBC Center on Nov. 13. The teams met four times during the 2005-06 season with Carolina posting a 3-1-0 record. The teams also met in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals with Carolina emerging with a 4-3 win in the seven-game series.

Cory Stillman led all Hurricanes skaters with five points (1g, 4a) in the four-game regular-season series between the teams in 2005-06 while J.P. Dumont (4g, 0a), Thomas Vanek (3g, 1a) and Maxim Afinogenov (0g, 4a) led the Sabres. The Hurricanes post a 59-83-19-1 all-time regular-season record against the Sabres with a 33-37-12 home record and a 26-46-7-1 record in Buffalo.

AGAINST THE DUCKS
Friday’s game marks the lone meeting between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Anaheim Ducks this season. The teams last met on Dec. 6, 2005, a 6-2 Hurricanes win in Anaheim. Carolina centerman Kevyn Adams notched his second hat trick of the 2005-06 season in that game, and one-time Ducks property Craig Adams earned three assists. Captain Rod Brind’Amour also earned three assists in the win. Francois Beauchemin and Rob Niedermayer each had a goal and an assist to lead Ducks’ scorers. The Hurricanes franchise posts a 9-8-2 all-time record against Anaheim, with a 5-3-1 home record and a 4-5-1 record in Orange County.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

Hurricanes
GP
G
A
PTS
17 Brind'Amour
34
12
29
41
13 Whitney
38
13
26
39
11 Williams
38
18
18
36

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Ward
29
2.82
17-9-3
.899
47 Grahame
10
3.10
3-5-1
.900

Buffalo
GP
G
A
PTS
48 Briere
36
14
29
43
61 Afinogenov
31
17
23
40
26 Vanek
36
19
18
37

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Miller
26
2.72
18-5-2
.913
43 Biron
11
3.02
8-2-1
.895

Anaheim
GP
G
A
PTS
8 Selanne
39
19
26
45
25 Pronger
39
7
32
39
19 McDonald
39
11
23
34

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
35 Giguere
34
2.17
23-4-5
.924
31 Wall
2
2.14
2-0-0
.885

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 7 6 1 0 22 21 12
2 TBL 7 4 2 1 21 14 9
3 OTT 5 4 1 0 14 10 8
4 WSH 5 3 0 2 18 11 8
5 DET 6 3 1 2 12 10 8
6 NYI 6 4 2 0 22 20 8
7 NYR 7 4 3 0 21 23 8
8 BOS 8 4 4 0 20 20 8
9 NJD 6 3 2 1 20 20 7
10 TOR 7 3 3 1 20 21 7
11 PIT 4 3 1 0 16 10 6
12 CBJ 5 3 2 0 15 12 6
13 FLA 6 2 2 2 9 14 6
14 PHI 6 1 3 2 17 25 4
15 CAR 5 0 3 2 11 18 2
16 BUF 6 1 5 0 8 22 2

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tlusty 5 4 1 -1 5
C. Terry 5 3 2 4 5
R. Nash 5 1 3 3 4
E. Staal 2 1 1 -2 2
Z. Boychuk 3 1 1 3 2
A. Semin 5 0 2 -3 2
A. Sekera 4 0 2 -4 2
N. Gerbe 4 1 0 -2 1
J. McClement 5 0 1 -1 1
J. Harrison 5 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 0 2 1 .912 2.64
C. Ward 0 1 1 .846 3.87