Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. NEW YORK RANGERS

Friday, 01.03.2003 / 11:34 AM / News
Carolina Hurricanes
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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. NEW YORK RANGERS

CAROLINA HURRICANES (15-14-5-3, 38 pts.)
vs.
NEW YORK RANGERS (14-20-5-1, 34 pts.)
Tuesday, December 31 at 7:30 p.m. at RBC Center



GAME NIGHT

The defending Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes return home to face the New York Rangers in a New Year’s Eve clash at RBC Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Carolina completed their eighth set of 19 back-to-back games over the weekend. The Hurricanes fell to the New York Islanders 3-0 at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 28 in their second consecutive loss. Carolina will kick off the new year with a four-game road trip, including two sets of back-to-back games. The Hurricanes will wrap up the road trip with their final matchup against the Rangers this season on Wednesday Jan. 8.
Defenseman Glen Wesley played in his 600th game with the franchise at New York. Carolina head coach Paul Maurice will coach in his 600th career NHL/Hurricanes game against the New York Rangers tonight. Captain Ron Francis has 15 points (6g, 9a) in his last 15 games. Francis had his six-game point streak broken against the Islanders Saturday night. With his assist against the Dallas Stars, 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 19 games.

PRACTICE TIMES

Dec. 31 Tuesday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 1 Wednesday RBC Center TBA
Jan. 2 Thursday RBC Center TBA
Jan. 3 Friday HSBC Arena 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 4 Saturday FleetCenter 11:30 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)
Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA NOTES
Tonight’s game will begin at 7:30, a half-hour later than originally scheduled. Head coach Paul Maurice, who ranks first among NHL coaches in tenure with the same club despite being the youngest coach in the NHL, will coach in his 600th career game against the New York Rangers. Forward Jeff O’Neill leads the team with 29 points (12g, 17a). Five of O’Neill’s goals this season have been game-winners, ranking him tied for fifth in that category through games of Dec. 29.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 8-5-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 7-9-0-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 37-of-211 (17.5%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 169-of-199 (84.9%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE

CAROLINA / NEW YORK NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers meet tonight for the third of four matchups this season. The Rangers defeated Carolina 4-1 at RBC Center in the season opener on Oct. 9. Carolina is 3-1-1 overall when opening the regular season against the Rangers. The Rangers won the rematch 3-1 in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 25. Rod Brind’Amour is Carolina’s leading scorer against the Rangers this season, having tallied a goal and an assist. Brind’Amour and Glen Wesley have notched the only goals against the Rangers this season.
The Hurricanes won the regular season series against the Rangers last season 3-1-0. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers in last season’s opener in Raleigh, 3-1. The team defeated the Rangers 8-2 on Oct. 12, 1985 and 2-0 on Oct. 7, 1995 in home openers. The Hurricanes also defeated the Rangers 3-2 on Nov. 2 in Raleigh and 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 10 at MSG. New York’s lone win against Carolina came on Nov. 29, 5-0. Sami Kapanen led the Hurricanes in goals (4) and points (5) against the Rangers last season. Arturs Irbe was 2-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and a .953 save percentage against New York in 2001-02. The Rangers lead the series with the Hurricanes 39-36-6 overall and 24-14-3 at MSG. Carolina leads the series at home 22-14-3.

RANGERS NOTES
The Rangers fell to the Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Sunday Dec. 29. Defenseman Tom Poti, with his team-leading 29 points, is tied for second in the league among defenseman in scoring through games of Dec. 29. Eric Lindros scored a goal and added an assist against the Lightning and has tallied a point (8g, 6a) in 12 of his last 17 outings.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
GP G A TP
92 O'Neill 37 12 17 29
17 Brind'Amour 37 11 17 28
10 Francis 37 14 14 28
26 Cole 37 11 10 21
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 15 2.91 5-8-1 .891
80 Weekes 24 2.14 10-8-4 .928
RANGERS
GP G A TP
3 Poti 39 5 24 29
93 Nedved 40 12 14 26
88 Lindros 39 11 12 23
9 Bure 27 14 7 21
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
30 Dunham 7 3.02 2-4-1 .900
31 Blackburn 23 3.21 7-10-3 .889
35 Richter 13 2.94 5-6-1 .897
40 Holmqvist 1 3.08 0-1-0 .889
Carquest

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