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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadiens

Thursday, March 16, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.

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

Hurricanes: 44-15-6 (94 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Canadiens: 31-24-9 (71 pts.), Northeast Division, 3rd place

Thursday's Game

The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes begin a four-game road swing at Montreal on Thursday (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). The road swing will take the team to Boston for a 12 p.m. Saturday matinee and then to Toronto on March 21 and Buffalo on March 22. The Hurricanes earned six of 10 possible points in their recent five-game road trip with games at Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Philadelphia and Florida.

Carolina has 17 games remaining in its 82-game regular-season schedule, with all games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hurricanes' 94 points put them one point ahead of Ottawa for first place in the conference, 22 points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division and one ahead of Detroit and Ottawa for the NHL lead through games of March 14.

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • Center Doug Weight has earned points in each of the last three games (3/10-3/14: 3g, 3a)
  • Center Eric Staal has earned points and assists in each of the last three games (3/10-3/14: 0g, 4a)
  • Center Matt Cullen has scored goals and earned points in each of the last two games (3/11-3/14: 2g, 0a)
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has earned assists and points in each of the last two games (3/11-3/14: 0g, 2a)

Milestone Watch

  • The Carolina Hurricanes eclipsed the previous franchise records for wins in a season (43), home wins in a season (27) and points in a season (93) with their 44th win (27th home win) of 2005-06 on March 14 against the New York Rangers
  • Left wing Cory Stillman played his 700th NHL game at Florida on March 11 at Florida
  • Goaltender Martin Gerber played his 100th NHL game on March 14 against the New York Rangers
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour is two goals shy of 100 Hurricanes goals
  • Center Matt Cullen is one goal 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

The Hurricanes currently post a 44-15-6 record, including a 21-5-2 record in 28 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 27-5-1 (55 points). With 94 points in their first 65 games, the Hurricanes now look to improve upon their newly-set franchise record for points in a season. The previous franchise-high for points in a season was 93 set by the 1986-87 squad.

Hurricanes center Eric Staal earned two assists in Carolina' s game at Florida on Friday for his 24th multiple-point game of the season. Through games of March 14, Staal ranked third in the league with 86 points and fifth in the NHL with 39 goals. He has notched points in 47 of the Hurricanes' 65 games this season. Through games of March 14, he ranked tied for seventh in the league with 16 power-play goals and tied for 11th with three shorthanded goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 80-of-432 (18.5%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 294-of-355 (82.8%)

Injury Report

  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, illness, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, lower body, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Left wing Erik Cole, fractured vertebra 3/4, out 6-8 weeks, missed 5 games
  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, surgery 2/1, out two months, missed 13 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 50 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

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
March 20 Monday RecZone 10:00 a.m.
March 21 Tuesday Air Canada Centre 11:30 a.m.
March 22 Wednesday HSBC Arena 11:30 a.m.
March 23 Thursday none
March 24 Friday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
March 25 Saturday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 26 Sunday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 27 Monday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 28 Tuesday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
March 29 Wednesday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
March 30 Thursday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
March 31 Friday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.

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

Against the Canadiens

The Hurricanes and Canadiens meet for the fourth and final time this season on Thursday at the Bell Centre. The Hurricanes have emerged victorious in the teams' three meetings this season, 5-3 on Dec. 31 and 7-3 on Jan. 23 at the RBC Center and 8-2 on Jan. 31 at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens took the 2003-04 season series between the teams with a 2-0-1-1 record.

Former Carolina defensemen Sean Hill (2g, 0a) and Danny Markov (1g, 1a) led the Hurricanes with two points each in the 2003-04 season series against Montreal. The Candiens were paced by Michael Ryder (1g, 3a) who notched four points in the four-game season series. The Hurricanes post a 49-85-20-1 all-time record against Montreal, including a 30-36-12-1 home mark and a 19-49-7-1 road record.

Hurricanes vs. Canadiens 2005-06 Schedule
Dec. 31 RBC Center W, 5-3
Jan. 23 RBC Center W, 7-3
Jan. 31 Bell Centre W, 8-2
March 16 Bell Centre 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 31, 2005
Hurricanes 5, Canadiens 3

Captain Rod Brind'Amour notched the game-winning-goal, his second marker of the game, with 1:52 remaining to cap an eight-goal game between the Hurricanes and Canadiens on New Year's Eve at the RBC Center. Goaltender Martin Gerber made 24 saves, including stops against Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder on third-period breakaways, and stopping Ryder on a penalty shot with 3:29 remaining in regulation. Carolina winger Erik Cole notched his 13th goal of the season, and had the primary assist on Brind'Amour's game-winner to earn second-star honors. Cory Stillman extended his points streak to eight games (12/15-12/31: 3g, 10a) with a goal and an assist, Craig Adams earned two assists and Aaron Ward scored an empty-net goal to cap the Hurricanes' scoring.

Jan. 23, 2006
Hurricanes 7, Montreal 3

The Carolina Hurricanes extended their home winning streak to a franchise-best eight games, scoring a 7-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens. Netminder Cam Ward earned his 10th win of his rookie season and captured second star honors with 31 saves. Carolina's scoring attack was led by center Eric Staal and right wing Justin Williams, each of whom had a goal and two assists. Wingers Erik Cole and Andrew Ladd each added a goal and an assist, and defenseman Frantisek Kaberle earned two assists. Center Matt Cullen tied his career high for goals in a season when he notched his 18th of the year when he re-directed Staal's shot past Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore during a 5-on-3 power play in the second period. Forward Keith Aucoin made his NHL debut for Carolina and earned his first NHL point with an assist on Cole's goal. Defenseman Bret Hedican scored his fourth goal of the season 7:26 into the first period, and recorded five blocked shots in the game. Theodore was replaced by Cristobal Huet 8:45 into the second period when Carolina took a 5-1 lead on Ladd's goal.

Jan. 31, 2006
Hurricanes 8, Montreal 2

The Hurricanes rebounded from a 2-1 first period deficit with seven consecutive tallies to score an 8-2 rout against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Left wing Erik Cole matched his career-high with four points - including his third career hat trick - as the Hurricanes chased Canadiens netminder Jose Theodore at the 5:23 mark of the second period. Eric Staal netted a pair of goals and added an assist to reach the 100-point mark for his NHL Career and winger Ray Whitney also had a three-point game with a trio of assists. Defensemen Bret Hedican and Frantisek Kaberle each had two assists, as the Hurricanes played the final two periods with just four defensemen after Glen Wesley and Andrew Hutchinson left the game with first period injuries. Martin Gerber stopped 32 Montreal shots to earn his ninth win in 10 outings.

12 Staal
61 Stillman
26 Cole
11 Williams

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

27 Kovalev
11 Koivu
73 Ryder

SV %
39 Huet
30 Aebescher
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