Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at ATLANTA
CAROLINA HURRICANES (13-12-5-3, 34 pts.)
ATLANTA THRASHERS (8-19-1-3, 20 pts.)
Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena
Carolina captain Ron Francis assisted on Jan Hlavac’s game-tying goal against Tampa Bay and has now tallied 11 points (5g, 6a) in his last 11 games. Second-year forward Erik Cole has 14 points (9g, 5a) in the last 15 games. Sami Kapanen is scheduled to play in his 500th NHL game on Friday at Atlanta.
|Dec. 20||Friday||Phillips Arena||11:30 a.m.|
|Dec. 21||Saturday||RecZone||11:45 a.m.|
|Dec. 23||Monday||RBC Center||TBA|
|Dec. 24||Tuesday||RBC Center||TBA|
|Dec. 26||Thursday||RBC Center||TBA|
|Dec. 27||Friday||RBC Center||TBA|
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 sits just three points behind Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay after tying the Lightning 1-1 at RBC Center Wednesday night. The Hurricanes ranked sixth in the league in penalty killing percentage (85.7%) and eighth in power-play percentage (18.6%) through games of Dec. 18. Netminder Kevin Weekes was activated from the Injured Reserve List on Dec. 18 after missing eight games due to a concussion.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 7-4-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 6-8-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 36-of-194 (18.6%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 156-of-182 (85.7%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Bret Hedican missed the game vs. Tampa Bay (12/18) due to a concussion. He is day-to-day.
Josef Vasicek missed the game vs. Tampa Bay (12/18) with a back injury. He is day-to-day.
CAROLINA / ATLANTA NOTES
Carolina and Atlanta meet tonight for the second of five matchups during the 2002-03 regular season and the first of three games in Atlanta (Dec. 20, Jan. 7, and March 26). The Hurricanes won the first game 5-3 in Raleigh on Oct. 11. The Hurricanes won the regular season series against the Thrashers last season 3-0-2, with four of the five games extending into the overtime period. Jeff O’Neill led all goal scorers in the season series (3) and was tied for the lead in points in the series with Rod Brind’Amour (2g, 4a). O’Neill scored an overtime game-winner against Atlanta on Dec. 20 in Raleigh. Erik Cole earned his first career hat trick against the Thrashers when he tallied the overtime winner on Dec. 21 for a 5-4 victory. The Hurricanes are 13-0-3 against the Thrashers in the all-time regular season series.
The Thrashers fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at Philips Arena on Wednesday night. Second year winger Dany Heatley is ranked tied for 17th in the league in points with 31 (8g, 23a) and fifth in assists through games of Dec. 18. Heatley won the 2002 Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year. The Thrashers will be without defenseman Richard Smehlik who was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 14. Smehlik suffered a chest wall contusion in the second period at Dallas on Dec. 13.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS