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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. ATLANTA

Thursday, 12.26.2002 / 1:40 PM ET / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. ATLANTA

CAROLINA HURRICANES (15-12-5-3, 38 pts.)
vs.
ATLANTA THRASHERS (8-20-1-4, 21 pts.)
Friday, December 27 at 7 p.m. at RBC Center



GAME NIGHT

The defending Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes host the Atlanta Thrashers at the RBC Center in their first game back from the holiday break. It marks the second time the Hurricanes have played Atlanta in the past week. The Hurricanes earned a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory in Atlanta on Dec. 20. The Hurricanes are currently on a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) and a two-game win streak after defeating the Dallas Stars 1-0 at home on Dec. 22. Carolina has lost just nine times in regulation in its last 30 games.
Carolina captain Ron Francis assisted on Jeff O’Neill’s game-winner in the third period of Sunday’s game against Dallas and now has 14 points (6g, 8a) in his last 13 games. With the assist, Francis became the second player in NHL history after Wayne Gretzky to tally 1,200 career assists. Second-year forward Erik Cole has 15 points (9g, 6a) in the last 17 games.

PRACTICE TIMES

Dec. 27 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 28 Saturday Nassau Coliseum 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 29 Sunday RecZone 11:45 a.m.
Dec. 30 Monday RBC Center TBA

ON THE AIR
Television: None
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
Carolina is tied with Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division after blanking the Dallas Stars 1-0 Sunday night. Netminder Kevin Weekes earned his 10th career shutout and second consecutive victory after missing eight games due to a concussion. The Hurricanes enter their eighth of 19 sets of back-to-back games this season. After hosting Atlanta tonight, Carolina will travel to New York to face the Islanders on Saturday, Dec. 28.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 8-4-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 7-8-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 36-of-198 (18.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 161-of-188 (85.6%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Bret Hedican missed the game vs. Dallas (12/22) due to a concussion. He is day-to-day.

CAROLINA / ATLANTA NOTES
Carolina and Atlanta meet tonight for the third of five matchups during the 2002-03 regular season and the second of two games at home. The Hurricanes won the first game in Raleigh 5-3 on Oct. 11 as Rod Brind’Amour, Erik Cole, and Josef Vasicek each notched a goal and an assist. Carolina defeated the Thrashers 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 20 on Aaron Ward’s OT game-winner.
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 14-0-3 against the Thrashers in the all-time regular season series.

THRASHERS NOTES
The Thrashers fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Monday Dec. 23 at Air Canada Centre before the holiday break. Second year winger, Ilya Kovalchuk leads Atlanta in goal scoring this season and is tied for sixth in the league in that category through games of Dec. 23. Kovalchuk has netted 18 goals thus far. The Thrashers are still without leading scorer and 2002 Calder Trophy Winner Dany Heatley who has been sidelined with a groin strain.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
92 O'Neill 35 11 17 28
17 Brind'Amour 35 11 16 27
10 Francis 35 14 13 27
26 Cole 35 11 10 21
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 15 2.91 5-8-1 .891
80 Weekes 22 1.96 10-6-4 .934
THRASHERS
GP G A TP
15 Heatley 28 8 23 31
17 Kovalchuk 32 18 8 26
13 Kozlov 33 6 18 24
19 McEachern 33 9 11 20
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
31 Nurminen 18 3.18 6-8-1 .884
33 Hnilicka 11 4.16 0-9-0 .882
34 Dafoe 9 3.95 2-7-0 .867

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81