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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

Wednesday, 01.10.2007 / 4:41 PM / News
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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

HURRICANES RETURN TO DIVISIONAL PLAY

After playing six straight games against non-divisional opponents, the Hurricanes get back to the grind in Raleigh tonight.

Each of the team's next seven games will be played against Southeast Division teams, beginning with the Florida Panthers Thursday night at home (7 p.m., CenterIce Free Preview, Hurricanes Radio Network, TICKETS). These two teams played twice immediately before and after the Christmas break, with the Hurricanes winning both times.

With so many games being played within the division, this presents a crucial time for Carolina to pick up some points and separate themselves from the pack.

Or, maybe it doesn't.

"Division games don't mean anything anymore," said Hurricanes Head Coach Peter Laviolette. "The only thing that matters is the conference. You've got to finish as high up in your conference to make sure you get home ice for the playoffs."

After winning their last two games, including a convincing 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto, the Hurricanes are currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with the top eight teams making the playoffs. The team is both six points clear of the ninth-placed team and six points behind Atlanta for first place in the division.

Throughout Carolina's somewhat inconsistent play over the last several weeks, the one constant of late has been goaltender Cam Ward. Even when the team lost three straight games, Ward played very well only to be let down by a lack of goal-scoring support.

Lately, the team has been winning and Ward has been getting credit for it, being named third and first star, respectively, in the last two games against the New York Islanders and Toronto.

Although Ward has played in six straight games, he said he doesn't mind the heavy load.

"There's not a game that goes by that you don't want to be in," he said. "With that being said, you know that you can't play all of them. I'm happy with getting the opportunity and I'm just trying to make the most of it."

With the Hurricanes' games much more spread out in January as opposed to earlier in the season, Ward is able to play consecutive games while still getting enough rest. That makes it possible for him to play as often as he does, which he says helps his overall game.

"That's part of the reason why maybe last year I was a little inconsistent," he said. "It's tough to get into a rhythm when you're not playing all that much. It is a lot easier when you're playing in game situations night after night."

When Carolina's schedule was so congested in the first part of the season, they often found themselves having to play two nights in a row with the second game being against a team that was resting and waiting.

Tonight, it will be the Hurricanes resting and waiting as Florida plays host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers
Thursday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center * Raleigh, NC
Hurricanes: 23-18-4 (50 pts.) 2nd Southeast Division
Maple Leafs:
15-20-9 (39 pts.), 5th Southeast Division

TOMORROW’S GAME
The Carolina Hurricanes return to the RBC Center to begin a two-game home stand against divisional opponents, Thursday against the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network) and Saturday against the division-leading Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes are coming off of consecutive wins against the New York Islanders at home on Jan. 6 (4-2) and at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 9 (4-1).

Broadcast Note: The opposing teams’ telecasts of the Hurricanes’ next two games will be available via the NHL’s CenterIce package, which is having a free preview for digital cable and satellite subscribers this week. As always, fans can tune into the Hurricanes Radio Network broadcasts of each game featuring Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Kaiton. The Hurricanes will return to FSN South with a high-definition telecast of the game at Florida on Jan. 16.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour earned his 200th Hurricanes assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto
  • Left wing Ray Whitney earned his 400th NHL assist with his second assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto
  • Defenseman David Tanabe earned his 100th NHL assist with his second assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto

CURRENT STREAKS

  • Goaltender Cam Ward has started each of the Hurricanes last six games (12/29-1/6)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has goals and points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 2g, 1a)
  • Center Eric Staal has goals and points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 2g, 1a)
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has assists and points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 0g, 4a)
  • Captain Rod Brind’Amour has assists and points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 0g, 2a)
  • Right wing Scott Walker has points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 1g, 1a)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman has assists and points in two straight games (1/6-1/9: 0g, 4a)

Television: No Carolina telecast FSN Florida's telecast available via CenterIce free preview)
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’ next seven games are against Southeast Division opponents, with five of those games taking place at the RBC Center. Carolina currently posts a 10-3-0 record against Southeast Division foes after going 18-11-3 against the division in 2005-06.
  • Carolina posts a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games against Florida, dating back to the Hurricanes’ 1-0 win at BankAtlantic Center on Nov. 11, 2005. Carolina’s only regulation losses in that span came on March 10, 2006 (5-3) and Oct. 11, 2006 (6-3), both at Florida.
  • The Panthers have not won at the RBC Center since Dec. 6, 2002, and have earned just one point in their last eight games in Raleigh, a 2-2 tie on Oct. 13, 2003.
  • The Hurricanes’ power play is 17-for-76 (22.4%) with left wing Cory Stillman in the lineup, and 26-for-187 (13.9%) without him.
  • This season, Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 185-for-212 (87.3%) in 41 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: 12-7-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 11-11-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 43-of-263 (16.4%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 202-of-239 (84.4%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Defenseman Glen Wesley, lower body, day-to-day, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, illness/finger surgery, injured reserve, out 3-4 weeks, missed 4 games
  • Defenseman Tim Gleason, broken foot, injured reserve, out one month, missed 8 games
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out, missed 45 games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
Thurs., Jan. 11
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 12
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 13
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sun., Jan. 14
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Mon., Jan.15
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Tues., Jan. 16
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
BankAtlantic Center, Florida
Wed., Jan. 17
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Thurs., Jan. 18
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 19
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 20
Pregame Skate
TBD
RecZone, Raleigh
Jan. 21-24
Off (All-Star Break)
Thurs., Jan. 25
Team Practice
5:00 p.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 26
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 27
Pregame Skate
11:20 a.m.
Verizon Center, Washington

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

AGAINST THE PANTHERS

Thursday marks the fourth of eight 2006-07 regular-season meetings between the Hurricanes and the Panthers, the second of four meetings between the teams this season at the RBC Center. The teams won’t wait long to meet again, as the Hurricanes will travel to Florida for their last road game before the All-Star break on Tuesday against the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

The Hurricanes won both ends of a home-and-home set against Florida that book-ended the NHL’s two-day holiday break, taking a 3-2 overtime win at BankAtlantic Center on Dec. 23, and a 4-2 win at the RBC Center on Dec. 26. The Panthers won the teams’ first meeting this season by a 6-3 score at BankAtlantic Center on Oct. 11.

Last season the Hurricanes posted a 6-1-1 record in eight games against the Panthers, and went 4-0-0 in the teams’ four meetings at the RBC Center. Eric Staal led all scorers with 11 points (4g, 7a) in the eight-game season series, while Olli Jokinen posted 10 points (5g, 5a) for Florida. The Hurricanes hold a 28-21-12-1 all-time record against the Panthers, with a 18-9-3 home mark and a 10-12-9-1 record in South Florida.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

CAROLINA HURRICANES
FLORIDA PANTHERS
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Whitney
45
16
32
48
Brind'Amour
41
13
34
47
Williams
45
21
20
41
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Sundin
36
18
21
39
Kaberle
43
8
29
37
McCabe
43
8
25
33
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Ward
35
2.73
20-12-3
.903
Grahame
11
3.19
3-6-1
.896
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Raycroft
34
3.02
17-13-4
.896
Aubin
13
3.45
2-4-2
.881

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61