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The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a Saturday evening get together with the Penguins at Mellon Arena (7:30 p.m., FSN South HD, Hurricanes Radio Network). Saturday’s game marks the first game of a five-game road swing for Carolina, who will travel to Nashville, Washington, New Jersey and Boston before returning to Raleigh on Feb. 14 to host the Penguins at the RBC Center. The Hurricanes are coming off of a two-game, post-All-Star break home stand that yielded wins against the New York Rangers (3-1) on Tuesday and the Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2 OT) on Thursday.
Broadcast Notes: FSN South continues its coverage of live Carolina Hurricanes games on Saturday as the Hurricanes travel to Pittsburgh. Saturday’s game is one of 10 Hurricanes games on FSN South this season that is being presented in high-definition. Time Warner Cable digital cable subscribers in the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville area can view the game on channel 291 (MOJO) and DirecTV subscribers can tune into channel 633-1. Cable subscribers outside of TWC’s Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville region and Dish Network subscribers should check listings for the HD channel lineup.
All Hurricanes games on FSN South are preceded by the 30-minute pregame show Hurricanes Live, hosted and anchored by Hurricanes play-by-play man John Forslund, and featuring interviews and commentary from color analyst Tripp Tracy. The Hurricanes and FSN South announced a new, multi-year contract on Jan. 28, which will take the minimum number of locally televised Hurricanes games from 55 to 65 beginning in 2008-09.
Throughout the season, Mike Maniscalco of the Hurricanes’ new radio flagship 99.9 FM The Fan, will host a 30-minute pre-game show and a one-hour call-in post-game show surrounding Hurricanes radio broadcasts. As always, Hall of Fame play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton will call all of the in-game action for all games on the Hurricanes Radio Network.
Captain Rod Brind’Amour is one point shy of 400 Hurricanes pointsCenter Eric Staal is one game shy of his 300th NHL/Hurricanes game
Goaltender Cam Ward has started six consecutive games (1/17-1/31: 4-2-0) and played in 10 consecutive games (1/8-1/31: 5-5-0)
Left wing Ray Whitney has points and assists in four straight games (1/21-1/31: 0g, 5a)
Defenseman Bret Hedican has points and assists in two straight games (1/29-1/31: 0g, 2a)
Captain Rod Brind’Amour has goals and points in two straight games (1/29-1/31: 2g, 0a)
FSN South HD (TWCable Ral/Dur/Fay Ch. 50 (SD)/Ch. 291 (HD); Dish Network Ch. 446; DirecTV Ch. 633/633-1)
Hurricanes Radio Network – WCMC 99.9 FM The Fan (Raleigh – flagship), Pirate Radio – WGHB 1250 AM and WDLX 930 AM (Greenville, NC), Talk Radio WEEB 990 AM (Southern Pines, NC), WWNB 1490 AM (New Bern, NC)
Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour is one point shy of 400 points since he joined Carolina during the 1999-00 season. He leads the franchise in assists (250), points (399) and shorthanded goals (9), since its relocation in 1997, and ranks second in goals (149) and power-play goals (52) in this era of team history. Brind’Amour is eight games behind Jeff O’Neill (536) for second place on the Hurricanes’ games-played list.
The Hurricanes completed a two-game home stand on Thursday, and take to the road on Saturday at Pittsburgh for the first game of a five-game road swing. The Hurricanes have played 54 games thus far this season, and are tied for the most road games played in the NHL (28). The Hurricanes will play 15 of their last 23 games of the season at the RBC Center following this five-game road swing.
The Hurricanes’ power play has yielded one goal in six of the team’s last seven games, going 6-for-31 (19.4%) in that span. Meanwhile, Carolina’s penalty kill, while ranked 30th in the NHL at 77.1 percent, has allowed just one power-play goal in the team’s last five games, going 14-for-15 (93.3%) since Jan. 18.
The Hurricanes have won four of their last five games, scoring wins against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 18, New York Islanders on Jan. 21, the New York Rangers on Jan. 29 and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 31. Prior to this stretch, Carolina had not won four of five games since Games 2-6 of this season, when the Hurricanes beat Pittsburgh on Oct. 5, lost to Washington on Oct. 6 and then scored three straight wins at Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, Oct. 9-13.
The Hurricanes come into Saturday’s game with a 6-6-2 record this season against Atlantic Division teams, while the Penguins post an impressive 7-3-2 mark against teams from the Southeast Division. Despite sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings through games of Jan. 31, Pittsburgh has a dismal 6-11-1 mark against division opponents this season, while the Hurricanes have seen the most success against Northeast Division teams, going 9-5-1 in games against Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 13-11-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 13-13-2
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 50-of-271 (18.4%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 182-of-236 (77.1%)
Center Matt Cullen, distorted vision, day-to-day, missed one game
Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, ankle, day-to-day, missed five games
Forward Justin Williams, ACL/MCL (left knee), injured reserve, out 4-6 months, missed 18 games
Defenseman David Tanabe, concussion, injured reserve, missed 19 games