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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Phoenix Coyotes

Wednesday, 01.03.2007 / 4:40 PM / News
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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Phoenix Coyotes

HURRICANES AIM TO BUILD CONSISTENCY - STARTING WITH PHOENIX

RALEIGH, NC - Five straight losses. Five straight wins. Beating the best team in the National Hockey League. Losing to the worst team in the National Hockey League.

It's been a crazy stretch of games for the Carolina Hurricanes.

That being said, losing three of the past four games might spell improvement in the immediate future. If recent history is any indicator, the Hurricanes will win three of their next four.

Consistency is the buzzword in the Carolina locker room these days. The Hurricanes will look to start consistently winning throughout a much easier portion of their schedule in January where they play eight times at home and only four times on the road.

Besides the majority of them being at home, the games in January are also very evenly spaced out. Unlike previous months, there will be only one set of back-to-back games. Even that set isn't so bad because both games are against the Washington Capitals, meaning that neither team will have the advantage of being rested for the second game.

Taking advantage of the favorable schedule is important, says Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore.

"It's big," said Commodore of January. "If we can have a good month, we can put some distance (between us and other teams). We've played a ton of hockey and it's been a grind. We need to win the games we're supposed to win, and when you're rested and you're at home you're supposed to win."

The Hurricanes will try to start winning those games on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network, Tickets). Phoenix is one of the weaker teams in the Western Conference, but you wouldn't know it from their recent play. Led by Head Coach Wayne Gretzky, they have won four of their last five games, including an 8-0 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks last Saturday.

Their offense took a hit on Wednesday, however, when they traded center Mike Comrie, who had 20 points in 24 games played this year, to Ottawa for prospect Alexei Kaigorodov. Kaigorodov is playing in Russia this year and will not be in the lineup to face the Hurricanes.

Still, the Carolina can't be bothered about the details concerning their next opponents.

"We can't be concerned about Phoenix," said defenseman Glen Wesley. "We have to be concerned about ourselves and the way we play and how we come out and being prepared mentally and physically ready to battle, and if we do that, it's not going to matter."

Since Phoenix and Carolina are in different conferences and don't play each other very often, not worrying about the other team will be easier than normal.

"Not much, which is good probably," said Rod Brind'Amour when asked what he knew about the Coyotes. "We can worry about ourselves and what we've got to do to be prepared, and go play our game."

The Hurricanes will look to fight through consistency problems by doing just that - playing their game. After all, it was playing their game that won a Stanley Cup for the majority of the players in the Carolina locker room.

When asked about what it took to win consistently, Head Coach Peter Laviolette put it simply, but perhaps also put it best.

"You have to play more pretty good games than you do lousy ones," Laviolette said. "Tomorrow is an opportunity to get back on the good side of things and I'm sure we'll respond."

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Phoenix Coyotes
Thursday, Jan. 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center * Raleigh, NC
Hurricanes: 21-17-4 (46 pts.) 2nd Southeast Division
Coyotes:
16-20-2 (34 pts.), 4th Pacific Division

TOMORROW’S GAME
The Carolina Hurricanes return to the RBC Center on Thursday to face the Phoenix Coyotes (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network) in the first of two consecutive home games. The Hurricanes, 3-1-0 in their last four home games, will remain in Raleigh following Thursday’s game, and will play host to the New York Islanders on Saturday (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network).

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Center Kevyn Adams will play his 300th game with the Hurricanes with his next game played
  • Winger Scott Walker is one assist shy of 200 for his NHL career
  • Defenseman David Tanabe is one point shy of 100 NHL points
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour is two assists shy of 200 Hurricanes assists
  • Left wing Ray Whitney is four assists shy of 400 for his NHL career and two points shy of 100 Hurricanes points

CURRENT STREAKS

  • none

Television: No Carolina Broadcast (Phoenix's AZ TV telecast will be available via NHL Center Ice)
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 Hurricanes have lost each of their last three meetings with the Coyotes, with Carolina’s last win coming on Nov. 12, 2002, a 3-2 triumph at the RBC Center.
  • The Coyotes last visited Raleigh on Jan. 4, 2004, exactly three years ago to the day of this season’s game between the clubs. Phoenix scored a 3-0 win in that contest in the midst of Brian Boucher’s five consecutive shutouts streak.
  • Carolina winger Ray Whitney leads all Hurricanes skaters in career scoring against the Phoenix franchise, posting 27 points (10g, 17a) in 30 career regular-season games
  • Hurricanes leading goal scorer Justin Williams led all NHLers with 10 regular-season game-winning goals in calendar year 2006, one ahead of San Jose Sharks sniper Jonathan Cheechoo.
  • This season, Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 172-for-199 (86.4%) in 38 games with Rod Brind’Amour in the lineup and went 17-for-27 (63.0%) in the four games Brind’Amour missed in December.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 11-6-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 10-11-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 39-of-246 (15.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 189-of-226 (83.6%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Defenseman Tim Gleason, broken foot, injured reserve, out one month, missed 5 games
  • Center Kevyn Adams, wrist/staph infection, missed 8 games
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out, missed 42 games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
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 COYOTES
Thursday’s game marks the lone meeting between the Hurricanes and the Coyotes this season. Last season, the teams met in Glendale on Dec. 3 with the Coyotes scoring an 8-4 victory behind Ladislav Nagy’s three power-play goals. Nagy added two assists in the game to lead all scorers with five points in the game. Eric Staal had a goal and an assist as Carolina’s lone multi-point getter in that contest. The Hurricanes post a 29-25-8 all-time record against the Phoenix franchise, including a 14-10-6 home record and a 15-15-2 road record.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

CAROLINA HURRICANES
PHOENIX COYOTES
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Brind'Amour
38
13
32
45
Whitney
42
16
28
44
Williams
42
19
19
38
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Nagy
37
6
23
29
Nolan
38
9
14
23
Saprykin
35
9
12
21
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Ward
32
2.83
18-11-3
.899
Grahame
11
3.19
3-6-1
.896
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Joseph
27
3.22
9-14-0
.893
Tellqvist
10
2.71
5-3-2
.906

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 23 16 6 1 61 57 33
2 PIT 21 15 4 2 76 49 32
3 NYI 22 16 6 0 72 59 32
4 TBL 23 15 6 2 81 63 32
5 DET 22 12 5 5 64 54 29
6 BOS 23 13 9 1 59 57 27
7 TOR 22 11 8 3 70 67 25
8 OTT 21 10 7 4 58 56 24
9 FLA 20 8 6 6 42 51 22
10 WSH 21 9 8 4 58 57 22
11 NYR 21 9 8 4 60 62 22
12 NJD 22 9 10 3 53 63 21
13 PHI 21 8 10 3 59 66 19
14 CAR 21 6 12 3 48 63 15
15 CBJ 21 6 13 2 51 76 14
16 BUF 22 6 14 2 37 72 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Nash 21 4 11 0 15
E. Staal 16 6 7 -6 13
J. Faulk 21 2 10 -9 12
J. Skinner 17 5 6 -4 11
J. Tlusty 21 8 2 -11 10
E. Lindholm 21 6 4 -4 10
N. Gerbe 17 2 6 2 8
A. Sekera 20 0 8 -4 8
C. Terry 17 4 3 1 7
V. Rask 21 3 2 -7 5
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 6 8 1 .907 2.61
A. Khudobin 0 4 2 .898 2.97