Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at OTTAWA

Saturday, 12.07.2002 / 1:15 AM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at OTTAWA

CAROLINA HURRICANES (12-9-4-3, 31 pts.)
at
OTTAWA SENATORS (13-7-4-0, 30 pts.)
Saturday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Corel Centre



GAME NIGHT

The defending Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators at the Corel Centre for the first of four consecutive road games. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes 2-0 on Friday night at RBC. Carolina has won three of its last five games. Carolina is in the midst of four consecutive sets of back-to-back games. The Hurricanes are 7-4-0-0 in back-to-back games with a 5-0-0-0 record in the front half and a 2-4-0-0 record in the back half of back-to-back games. Carolina plays a total of 19 sets of back-to-back games this season. Carolina has lost just six times in regulation in its last 23 games. All but eight of the Hurricanes' last 23 opponents participated in the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Netminder Arturs Irbe was honored Friday night for his 500th NHL 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. Second-year forward Erik Cole 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 six games.

PRACTICE TIMES

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
Television: Fox Sports Net
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)
Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA NOTES
The Hurricanes honored 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. Center Josef Vasicek returned to action against the Florida Panthers Friday night after missing 21 consecutive games due to a back injury.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 7-4-4-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 5-5-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 31-of-170 (18.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 135-of-155 (87.1%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Kevin Weekes missed the game vs. Florida (12/6) due to a concussion. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Nov. 29. Sami Kapanen missed the game vs. Florida (12/6) with a groin injury. He is day-to-day.

CAROLINA / OTTAWA NOTES
The Hurricanes and the Senators meet for the third of four matchups this season. Ottawa defeated Carolina 4-1 in the two teams’ first meeting this season, on Oct. 23 at Corel Centre. The second meeting, in Raleigh, ended in a 4-4 tie. The Senators were unbeaten against Carolina last season, winning the season series 3-0-1. Ottawa was 1-0-1 at home in 2001-02, playing to a 1-1 tie on Nov. 15 and defeating Carolina 4-3 on April 2. The Senators won both games in Raleigh, defeating the Hurricanes 6-2 on Oct. 9 and 5-1 on Dec. 18. Marian Hossa was the leading scorer against Carolina last season with six points (3g, 3a) in four games. Ron Francis led all Hurricanes scorers with five points (0g, 5a). Carolina leads the all-time regular season series with Ottawa 28-15-6, including a 16-5-2 mark at home and a 12-10-4 record in Ottawa.

SENATORS NOTES
Ottawa returns home from St. Louis after tying the Blues 2-2. Winger Marian Hossa is tied for seventh in the league in points with 29 (16g, 13a). Hossa is tied for first in league in goals, first in power-play goals (10) and second in power-play points (20). The Senators are 9-3-0-0 at home this season. Ottawa’s power-play ranks second in the league at 31-of-140 (22.1%) through games of Dec. 6.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
17 Brind'Amour 28 11 15 26
92 O'Neill 28 7 14 21
10 Francis 28 10 9 19
26 Cole 28 10 8 18
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 10 2.88 4-6-0 .890
80 Weekes 20 2.07 8-6-4 .931
SENATORS
GP G A TP
18 Hossa 24 16 13 29
11 Alfredsson 23 10 16 26
9 Havlat 18 5 11 16
14 Bonk 16 4 10 14
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
31 Prusek 4 2.73 3-0-0 .912
40 Lalime 21 2.18 10-7-4 .915
Carquest

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