Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. FLORIDA
CAROLINA HURRICANES (12-8-4-3, 31 pts.)
FLORIDA PANTHERS (8-8-6-4, 26 pts.)
Friday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. at RBC Center
Second-year forward Erik Cole scored his 10th goal of the season on Wednesday at Florida and now has 12 points (8g, 4a) in the last nine 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 28 points (13g, 15a) in nine games. Carolina captain Ron Francis scored his 524th career NHL goal against Florida on Wednesday, moving him into a tie with Bryan Trottier for 22nd on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Francis has tallied six points (2g, 4a) in the last five games.
|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.|
|Dec. 9||Monday||RecZone||10 a.m.|
|Dec. 10||Tuesday||Skyreach Centre||TBA|
ON THE AIR
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)
The Hurricanes will honor goaltender Arturs Irbe prior to Friday night’s game. Irbe played in his 500th career NHL game on Jan. 23, 2002 against the Nashville Predators. The National Hockey League recognizes a goaltender’s 500th game as a major milestone achievement, as it does for a skater’s 1000th game. Jim Gregory, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the NHL, Peter Karmanos, Jr., Owner and CEO of the Carolina Hurricanes and Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford will be present for the special presentation. Irbe, who became the franchise’s all-time leader in wins on March 30, 2002 at Boston, is seven games shy of becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (Sean Burke, 281). Irbe earned his 200th career NHL win on March 2, 2002 at Montreal.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 7-3-4-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 5-5-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 31-of-166 (18.7%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 130-of-150 (86.7%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Josef Vasicek missed the game at Florida (12/4) due to back spasms. He is day-to-day. Kevin Weekes missed the game at Florida (12/4) due to a concussion. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Nov. 29. Sami Kapanen missed the game at Florida (12/4) with a groin injury. He is day-to-day.
CAROLINA / FLORIDA NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers meet tonight for the second of five matchups this season. The Southeast Division rivals will meet once more in Raleigh and twice more in Sunrise during the 2002-03 season. Florida defeated Carolina 4-2 on Dec. 4 at the Office Depot Center in the two teams’ first matchup of the 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 17-15-9-0 all-time against the Panthers, with a 10-8-2-0 record at home and a 7-7-7-0 record at Florida.
Center Olli Jokinen tallied a pair of goals against the Hurricanes on Wednesday night at the Office Depot Center. Jokinen is tied for sixth in the NHL in scoring through games of Dec. 4 with 29 points (14g, 15a).
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS