CAROLINA HURRICANES (27-24-8-3, 65 pts.)
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (17-38-5-3, 42 pts.): Thurs., March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (31-17-12-3, 77 pts.): Fri., March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes face the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils in a pair of key Eastern Conference road matches. The Hurricanes are tied with the Boston Bruins with 65 points, but Carolina sits in the eighth, and final, Eastern Conference playoff spot by virtue of having one more victory (27 to 26). The Hurricanes have one game in hand on the Bruins. Carolina trails first-place Washington by 10 points in the Southeast Division standings. The Hurricanes are 14-8-4-1 in their last 27 games and are 7-4-1-2 against the Atlantic Division this season.
March 1Long Island11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
March 2New JerseyPregame skate TBA
March 3Chicago11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
ON THE AIR:
Television: Thursday: HTS/FSN; Saturday: Fox 50 WRAZ
Radio: WRBZ-850 AM (Raleigh); WCHL-1360 AM (Chapel Hill); WTRP-620 AM (La Grange, Ga.); WDNC 620-AM (Durham); WDZL 98.3FM (Murfreesboro); WFAY 1230/1450AM (Fayetteville); WSML 1200-AM (Graham); WRMT 1490-AM (Rocky Mount); WGHB 1250-AM (Greenville); WEEB 990-AM (Southern Pines); WMFR 1230-AM (High Point); WMFD 630-AM (Wilmington); WJNC 1240-AM (Jacksonville); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem).
Goaltender Arturs Irbe stopped 43 of 44 shots in Tuesday’s 1-1 tie at Atlanta. It was the most saves for Irbe since he stopped 44 in a 3-1 victory at Montreal on Jan. 30, 1999. Hurricanes center Rod Brind’Amour (9g, 18a) has 27 points in the last 25 games. Carolina winger Jeff O’Neill has 36 points in his last 36 games (25g, 11a), scoring goals in 19 of those games.
HURRICANES AT ISLANDERS NOTES:
The Hurricanes and Islanders meet for the third of four meetings this season, and the second time at Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum. Carolina won at Raleigh on Jan. 7 by a 5-2 score as Rod Brind’Amour had his second career hat trick. In the teams’ first match-up this season, the Islanders came away with a 2-1 victory. Martin Gelinas (1g, 3a) and Shane Willis (0g, 4a) lead the Hurricanes with four points against the Islanders. Carolina is 34-32-9-0 all-time against New York, 15-18-4-0 on Long Island.
HURRICANES AT NEW JERSEY NOTES:
The Hurricanes and the Devils face off for the fourth and final time in the regular season. Two of the three prior games were one-goal games – a 3-2 Carolina home win on Feb. 23 and a 3-2 New Jersey home victory on Nov. 18, 2000. The teams tied 3-3 in their first meeting in Raleigh on Oct. 27. The Devils have outshot the Hurricanes in the three games by a combined total of 98-69. Shane Willis leads Carolina with three goals against New Jersey. Patrick Elias and John Madden each have three goals against Carolina this season. Carolina is 30-34-11-1 all-time against New Jersey, 13-21-3-1 on the road.
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Dave Karpa suffered a bruised inner oblique on Feb. 24 vs. Washington and is day-to-day.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
92 O’Neill 62311849
10 Francis 62123749
23 Gelinas 59182543
24 Kapanen 62142741
17 Brind’Amour 59132841
1 Irbe572.43 26-21-8.911
31 Moss10 3.73 1-6-0.857