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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers

Friday, March 10, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Fla.

| Listen LIVE! (7:30 p.m.)

Hurricanes: 43-14-5 (91 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Panthers: 24-29-9 (57 pts.), Southeast Division, 4th place

* All stats current as of Carolina-Florida game on Friday, March 10

Back-to-Back Games

The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes continue their five-game road trip on Friday against the Florida Panthers in the first of two consecutive games between the clubs at BankAtlantic Center (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). Carolina began the road trip at Pittsburgh on Saturday, scoring 7-5 win against the Penguins at Mellon Arena. The Hurricanes took Sunday off and then scored a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers behind Martin Gerber's 37-save performance at Madison Square Garden on Monday. Carolina dropped a 3-2 shootout decision at Philadelphia in its most recent game, Wednesday at Wachovia Center.

The Hurricanes currently post a 43-14-5 record, including a 20-4-1 record in 25 games since Dec. 31. Carolina had its franchise-best nine-game home winning streak (12/13-1/28) snapped against Pittsburgh on Feb. 10. That home winning streak is tied for the longest in the NHL this season (Philadelphia, 10/7-11/12) and the Hurricanes currently post the best home record in the league at 26-5-1 (53 points). With 91 points in their first 62 games, the Hurricanes have enjoyed their best first-62 games in franchise history, eclipsing the 70-point, 62-game mark recorded by the 1986-87 squad.

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • Left wing Ray Whitney has earned points in each of the last seven games (2/10-3/8: 3g, 7a)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has earned points in each of the last three games (3/4-3/8: 2g, 1a)
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour has earned assists and points in each of the last three games (3/4-3/8: 1g, 3a)

Milestone Watch

  • The Carolina Hurricanes tied the franchise record for wins in a season (43) on March 6 at NY Rangers
  • The Carolina Hurricanes tied the franchise record for most home wins in a season (26) on March 3 against Florida
  • The Carolina Hurricanes are two points shy of tying the franchise record for points in a season (93)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman scored his 200th NHL goal on March 4 at Pittsburgh
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour is three goals shy of 100 Hurricanes goals
  • Center Matt Cullen is three goals shy of 100 NHL goals

Television: FSN South
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network - WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh - flagship), WYSR 1590 AM (High Point), WMFD 630 AM (Wilmington)

Carolina Notes

On Thursday, the Hurricanes traded a second-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, left wing Niklas Nordgren and center Krystofer Kolanos to Pittsburgh in exchange for veteran winger Mark Recchi. Recchi will join the team prior to Friday's game at Florida and will wear No. 18 when he takes the ice. The Kamloops, B.C., native is a 17-year NHL veteran who has recorded 480 goals and 778 assists (1,258 points) in 1,236 career regular-season games with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Montreal. He was a key member of the Penguins 1991 Stanley Cup-winning team and has recorded 40 goals and 57 assists (97 points) in 110 career postseason games.

Carolina has 20 games remaining in its 82-game regular-season schedule, with all games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hurricanes' 91 points put them four points ahead of Ottawa for first place in the conference, 21 points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division and four points ahead of Detroit and Ottawa for the NHL lead through games of March 8.

Hurricanes center Eric Staal scored the first goal in Carolina 7-5 win against Pittsburgh on Saturday and added three assists later in the game for his 23rd multi-point game of the season. Through games of March 8, Staal ranked third in the league with 82 points and fourth in the NHL with 39 goals. He has notched points in 45 of the Hurricanes' 62 games this season. Through games of March 8, he ranked tied for sixth in the league with 16 power-play goals and tied for 10th with three shorthanded goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 78-of-415 (18.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 281-of-341 (82.4%)

Injury Report

  • Left wing Erik Cole, fractured vertebra 3/4, out 6-8 weeks, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, surgery 2/1, out two months, missed 10 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 47 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

March 10 Friday BankAtlantic Center 11:30 a.m.
March 11 Saturday BankAtlantic Center 11:30 a.m.
March 12 Sunday none
March 13 Monday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 14 Tuesday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 15 Wednesday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 16 Thursday Bell Centre 11:30 a.m.
March 17 Friday Agganis Arena (Boston U) 1:30 p.m.
March 18 Saturday none
March 19 Sunday none

*All times are local - Times and locations subject to change

Against the Panthers

The Hurricanes and Panthers meet for the sixth time this season and the first game of a back-to-back set at the BankAtlantic Center. In the team's first two meetings this season, Carolina netminder Martin Gerber scored shutout victories, 2-0 at the RBC Center on Nov. 5, and 1-0 at the BankAtlantic Center on Nov. 11. The Hurricanes scored a 4-3 win at the RBC Center on Dec. 23, took a 4-3 shootout win at Florida on Jan. 25 and scored a 5-2 win at the RBC Center on March 1. The Southeast Division rivals will close out the regular season on March 31 at the RBC Center.

The teams skated to a 2-2-2-0 season series tie in 2003-04. Erik Cole (2g, 4a) and Josef Vasicek (2g, 4a) led the way for Carolina in 2003-04 while Olli Jokinen (1g, 7a) paced the Panthers. The Hurricanes post a 25-19-11-1 all-time record against Florida, including a 16-9-3-0 home mark and an 9-10-8-1 record in South Florida.

Hurricanes vs. Panthers 2005-06 Schedule
Nov. 5 RBC Center W, 2-0
Nov. 11 BankAtlantic Center W, 1-0
Dec. 23 RBC Center W, 4-3
Jan. 25 BankAtlantic Center W, 4-3 (SO)
March 3 RBC Center W, 5-2
March 10 BankAtlantic Center 7:30 p.m.
March 11 BankAtlantic Center 7:30 p.m.
March 31 RBC Center 7 p.m.

Nov. 11, 2005
Hurricanes 1, Florida 0

Hurricanes netminder Martin Gerber used his second individual shutout of the season to propel the Hurricanes to a franchise-best ninth consecutive win at Florida's BankAtlantic Center. Gerber stopped all 26 of Florida's shots in the contest to earn the game's third star. Eric Staal scored his 12th goal of the season on a second-period power play and was named the game's first star. Erik Cole set up Staal's goal to extend his assists streak to four games. Cole also became just the second player in NHL history to have penalty shots in two consecutive games when he was awarded a penalty shot in the first period. Ray Whitney earned the second assist on Staal's goal for his 14th point of the season and defenseman Danny Richmond made his NHL debut, skating 7:11.

Nov. 5, 2005
Hurricanes 2, Florida 0

Hurricanes netminder Martin Gerber turned aside each of the Florida Panthers' 27 shots on goal to earn his first individual shutout of 2005-06 and the game's first star. Carolina and Florida skated through two-and-a-half scoreless periods before captain Rod Brind'Amour found the net behind Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo at the 11:29 mark of the third period during a Hurricanes power play. Defenseman Niclas Wallin added an insurance goal with 5:25 remaining in the game when he one-timed Eric Staal's cross-slot pass past Luongo. The assist on Wallin's goal extended Staal's assists streak to three games (10/29-11/5: 2g, 6a) and his points streak to eight games (10/20-11/5: 6g, 12a). Defenseman Aaron Ward was named the game's third star with a stellar defensive effort, including two hits and four blocked shots.

Dec. 23, 2005
Hurricanes 4, Florida 3

The Hurricanes finished off a five-game home stand with a 4-3 win against Florida, making the home stand the best five-game home stand in franchise history by winning all five contests. Matt Cullen scored his 11th goal of the season and earned first-star honors. Eric Staal beat Roberto Luongo on a breakaway and earned the primary assist on Rod Brind'Amour's power-play game-winner to earn second-star honors. Justin Williams found the net in the third period to give him points in 16 of the last 18 games (11/15-12/23: 10g, 14a), including each of the last five games (12/13-12/23: 2g, 6a). Florida was assessed with 17 penalties, resulting in 15 power plays for Carolina, breaking the previous Hurricanes (since 1997-98) mark of 13 power-play opportunities in a game (3 times, last: Dec. 16, 2001 at Pittsburgh). Martin Gerber stopped 22 of 25 shots for his fifth consecutive victory and picked up an assist on Brind'Amour's game-winner.

Jan. 25, 2006
Hurricanes 4, Florida 3 (SO)

The Carolina Hurricanes overcame an early 2-0 deficit to tie the score 2-2 by the end of the first period on goals from Matt Cullen and Captain Rod Brind'Amour, and Brind'Amour scored the game-tying goal with 1:04 remaining in regulation as the Hurricanes downed the Florida Panthers 4-3 for a shootout win. Cullen's first-period goal was his 19th of the season, establishing a new career season high for goals for the 28-year-old centerman. Brind'Amour's two power-play goals elevated his power-play goals total to 16 for the season, eclipsing his previous career high. Cullen earned assists on each of Brind'Amour's goals for his second three-point night of the season. Ray Whitney and Erik Cole beat Florida netminder Roberto Luongo, and Carolina goaltender Martin Gerber stopped three of the Panthers' four shooters to help the Hurricanes to their 34th win of the season.

March 3, 2006
Hurricanes 5, Florida 2

The Carolina Hurricanes tied their franchise's record by recording their 26th home win of 2005-06, downing the Florida Panthers 5-2 at the RBC Center. Erik Cole scored twice in the contest for his third multi-goal game of the season and was named second star of the game. Center Eric Staal recorded his ninth multi-goal game and 22nd multi-point game by scoring Carolina's first goal, and adding an empty-net goal to help seal the victory. Left wing Cory Stillman recorded his ninth multi-assist game of the season. Goaltender Martin Gerber was named the game's first star with 37 saves, helping him to his 29th win of the season. Craig Adams banged home a cross-crease pass from linemate Kevyn Adams early in the third period, the goal that was the eventual game-winner. Defenseman Bret Hedican earned two assists in the game and finished the contest with a plus-2 rating.

12 Staal
61 Stillman
18 Recchi

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

12 Jokinen
16 Horton
15 Stumpel

SV %
1 Luongo
29 McLennan
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