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Coyotes vs. Hurricanes preview

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes


(AP) The first-place Phoenix Coyotes will look to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the Pacific Division Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. EST and prevent the Carolina Hurricanes from their season-high third straight win.

Jyrki Lumme scored with 44 seconds left in overtime Sunday, lifting the Coyotes (26-16-6-0) to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Phoenix is 4-1-2 in its last seven games overall, but winless in five straight on the road (0-3-2) and just one point ahead of second-place Dallas in the Pacific.

Goaltender Sean Burke is playing his best hockey of the season after missing 17 games due to thumb surgery. He has surrendered 10 goals during a personal five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).

Despite constant trade rumors, left wing Keith Tkachuk has been unaffected with four goals and two assists in the last six games.

Carolina (19-22-8-0) also is coming off an overtime victory as defenseman Mark Malik scored 55 seconds into the extra session, lifting the Hurricanes to a 3-2 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

The Hurricanes, who have won two straight following a five-game losing streak, have not won three in a row since Jan 26-30, 1999.

Carolina is three points behind Boston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Rod Brind'Amour made his Hurricanes debut Monday after he was acquired from Philadelphia on Sunday for holdout center Keith Primeau. Brind'Amour registered one shot on goal and did not record a point.

The Hurricanes are unbeaten in their last five meetings (3-0-2) against the Coyotes, who have not won in this series since March 1, 1996.

STANDINGS: Coyotes - 58 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Hurricanes - 46 points, 3rd place, 17 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Jeremy Roenick, 22 goals, 32 assists, 54 points, 76 PIM. Hurricanes - Sami Kapanen, 18 goals; Ron Francis, 29 assists, 42 points; Gary Roberts, 41 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 23): Coyotes - Power play: 13.9 percent (25 for 180), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.1 percent (155 for 180), 5th in NHL. Hurricanes - Power play: 18.3 percent (35 for 191), 9th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (116 for 142), 19th in NHL.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Burke (7-6-2, 1 SO, 2.24 GAA); Bob Essensa (12-4-2, 0 SO, 2.51). Hurricanes - Arturs Irbe (18-17-7, 3 SO, 2.59); Eric Fichaud (3-5-1, 1 SO, 2.93).

1998-99 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 0-0-1. The Hurricanes rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final 11 minutes on tallies by Francis, Jeff O'Neill and Martin Gelinas for a 5-5 tie at Phoenix on March 15.

HOME/ROAD RECORDS: Coyotes - 12-9-4 on the road; Hurricanes - 11-9-3 at home.

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