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FRANCIS, OZOLINSH LEAD 'CANES PAST ISLANDERS, 3-1

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
UNIONDALE, NY (MARCH 1, 2001) -- The Carolina Hurricanes skated past the New York Islanders tonight at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 3-1. Carolina captain Ron Francis notched his 13th goal of the season and 485th of his National Hockey League career to move into a tie for 32nd on the all-time goals scored list.

Francis’ goal at 12:17 of the first period proved to be the game-winner and was the centerman’s 50th point of 2000-01. Francis has now scored 50 or more points in 20 consecutive seasons including the 1994-95 lockout season in which only 44 games were played.

The win boosts the Hurricanes to a 28-24-8-3 record. Carolina is tied with the Boston Bruins with 67 points but has one more win and therefore hangs onto eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

“We’ve been here before,” said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. “We know the resilience that this takes. Every game is so important.”

Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh joined Francis on the scoresheet with a goal of his own just 1:46 after Francis’. Ozolinsh also recorded an assist on center Rod Brind’Amour’s 13th goal of the season at 5:31 of the first period for the defenseman’s second multiple point game in the last five.

“He’s been active offensively,” said Maurice. “He’s had a little bit more of an offensive jump on net in the last little while.”

Brind’Amour’s linemate, rookie wingman Shane Willis, left the game and did not return. Hurricanes trainers reported that Willis suffered an ankle injury but Maurice appeared optimistic following the game.

“Willis has an ankle sprain,” said Maurice. “Doesn’t look that serious. He was in street clothes and standing on his own by the end of the game which is a good sign.”

Earlier in the day the NHL named Willis rookie of the month for February following his 10-points (7g, 3a) during the 28-day, 12-game span. Willis recorded his first NHL hat trick against the Atlanta Thrashers on Feb. 21 and had three multiple point games in February.

Willis earned his 20th assist of the season on Brind’Amour’s goal before leaving the game. Willis ranks fourth among all NHL rookies in assists and second in points with 38.

NOTES: Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe stopped 36 of 37 Islanders shots on goal and earned second star honors… Francis’ linemates Jeff O’Neill and Sami Kapanen each earned assists on their centerman’s goal… Winger Scott Pellerin joins the Hurricanes tomorrow for their game against the New Jersey Devils, the team that originally drafted Pellerin in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft… Tonight’s win broke a two-game Carolina winless streak… Ron Francis celebrated his 38th birthday today.

Carolina Hurricanes Website Reporter Kyle S. Hanlin can be reached at kyleh@carolinahurricanes.com.

1st2nd3rdTOTAL
Carolina3003
NY Islanders1001

First Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Brindamour 14 (Ozolinsh, Willis),5:31. 2, NY Islanders, Scatchard 14 (unassisted), 10:31. 3, Carolina,Francis 13 (Oneill, Kapanen), 12:17. 4, Carolina, Ozolinsh 6 (power play)(unassisted), 17:27. Penalties: Scatchard, Nyi (tripping), 8:00; Cairns,Nyi (Obstr tripping), 16:47.
Second Period: Scoring: None. Penalties: Gelinas, Car ( double highsticking minor), 10:55.
Third Period: Scoring: None. Penalties: Biron, Nyi (hooking), 5:18;Dimaio, Car (slashing), 7:40; Cairns, Nyi (roughing), 7:40; K Jonsson, Nyi(interference), 9:29; Battaglia, Car (holding), 18:38.

SHOTS ON GOAL

Carolina13410--27
NY Islanders

16
10
11
--37

Power-play Conversions: Car - 1 of 4, Nyi - 0 of 3. Goalies: Carolina,Irbe (37 shots, 36 saves; record: 27-21-8). NY Islanders, Dipietro (27,24; record: 2-8-0). A: 9,069. Referees: Larue, Martell. Linesmen:Murray, Seitz.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS

CarolinaNew York
GA+/-ShotsGA+/-Shots
Adams
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
Halko
Hatcher
J Daniels
Kapanen
Malik
Oneill
Ozolinsh
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Willis
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
even
-1
even
-1
+1
even
+1
+1
+1
even
+1
even
+1
+1
even
-1
even
+1
0
2
2
1
2
1
2
0
2
0
5
1
4
2
0
3
0
0
Berube
Biron
Blake
Cairns
Connolly
Czerkawski
Hamrlik
Isbister
K Jonsson
Kolnik
Kvasha
Lapointe
Martins
Mezei
Muckalt
Pyatt
Scatchard
Z Chara
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
even
+1
even
even
-1
-1
-1
-1
even
even
+1
-1
even
even
even
even
even
-2
1
1
6
0
2
2
5
1
2
2
3
0
1
2
0
4
3
2
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