Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at FLORIDA
CAROLINA HURRICANES (12-7-4-3, 31 pts.)
FLORIDA PANTHERS (7-8-6-4, 24 pts.)
Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Office Depot Center
Second-year forward Erik Cole notched the game-winner Tuesday night at Columbus and now has 11 points (7g, 4a) in the last eight games. Cole was named a runner-up for NHL Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 23-29, totaling seven points (4g, 3a) and registering a (+5) rating in three games. The BBC line of Rod Brind’Amour, Bates Battaglia, and Cole continues to drive the Hurricanes’ offense with 26 points (12g, 14a) in eight games. Carolina captain Ron Francis scored his 523rd career NHL goal against Columbus on Saturday, surpassing Pat Verbeek for 23rd on the NHL’s all-time list. Francis will tie Bryan Trottier (524) for 22nd all-time in goal scoring with his next goal. Francis has tallied five points (1g, 4a) in the last four games.
|Dec. 4||Wednesday||National Car Rental Center||11:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 5||Thursday||RBC Center||TBA|
|Dec. 6||Friday||RBC Center||10:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 7||Saturday||Corel Centre||11:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 8||Sunday||RecZone||11:45 a.m.|
ON THE AIR
Television: Fox Sports Net (NC & SC)
Radio: WKIX 102.3 FM (Goldsboro); WKXU 101.1 FM (Raleigh); WDTF 570-AM (Raleigh); WMFD 630-AM (Wilmington); WDLZ 98.3-FM (Murfreesboro); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem); WRUP 97.9-FM (New Bern/Morehead City); WSTK 910-AM (Jacksonville); WNMX 106.1 (Charlotte); WCNC 1240-AM (Elizabeth City); WZBO 1260-AM (Edenton)
Carolina defeated Nashville for the first time ever at Gaylord Entertainment Center last night. Rod Brind’Amour has tallied 28 points (12g, 16a) in 43 games in his career against the Florida Panthers. Brind’Amour continues to lead the Hurricanes with 25 points (11g, 14a) in 26 games this season.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 7-3-4-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 5-4-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 30-of-163 (18.4%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 125-of-144 (86.8%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Josef Vasicek missed the game at Nashville (12/3) due to back spasms. He is day-to-day. Kevin Weekes missed the game at Nashville (12/3) due to a concussion. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Nov. 29. Sami Kapanen left the game at Nashville (12/3) with a groin injury. He is day-to-day.
CAROLINA / FLORIDA NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers meet tonight for the first of five matchups this season. The Southeast Division rivals will meet twice in Raleigh and three times in Sunrise during the 2002-03 season. Carolina won last season’s series with a 4-0-1-0 record. The Hurricanes were 2-0-1-0 at home in 2001-02 earning wins on Dec. 12 (4-1) and March 21 (3-2) and a tie on Jan. 25 (1-1). Carolina was 2-0-0-0 at Florida defeating the Panthers on Dec. 8 (3-2) and April 12 (3-1). Ron Francis, Bates Battaglia, Rod Brind’Amour, and Martin Gelinas led Carolina with four points each. The Hurricanes are 17-14-9-0 all-time against the Panthers, with a 10-8-2-0 record at home and a 7-6-7-0 record at Florida.
Florida has had three days to rest and prepare for Carolina. The Panthers last played Sat. Nov. 30, a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Center Olli Jokinen leads the Panthers in scoring and is tied for tenth in the league with 27 points (12g, 15a) through games of Dec. 2. Florida is 12-of-56 (21.4%) on the power-play at home this season and ranks seventh in the league through Dec. 2.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS