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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning


Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
St. Pete Times Forum - Tampa, Fla.

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Hurricanes: 38-12-4 (80 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Lightning: 30-22-4 (64 pts.), Southeast Division, 2nd place

Back-to-Back Set
The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes travel south for a Thursday night match up against the division's No. 2 team, the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). Following Thursday's game, the Hurricanes return to Raleigh to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) and will round out their pre-Olympic break schedule against Buffalo on Sunday (5 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network).

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • The Carolina Hurricanes have won each of their last nine games at the RBC Center (12/31-1/28)
  • Goaltender Martin Gerber has wins in each of his last four games (1/25-2/5)

Milestone Watch

  • Left wing Cory Stillman is two goals shy of 200 for his NHL career

Television: FSN South, Time Warner Cable (Raleigh-Durham market) HD, Ch. 292
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network - WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh - flagship), WYSR 1590 AM (High Point), WMFD 630 AM (Wilmington)

Carolina Notes

The Hurricanes scored a 4-3 shootout win at Boston on Sunday when newly-acquired centerman Doug Weight beat Bruins netminder Tim Thomas, and Carolina goaltender Martin Gerber stopped Boston's final shootout shooter Sergei Samsonov. The win took the Hurricanes' overall record to 38-12-4, including a 15-2-0 record in 17 games since Dec. 31.

The Hurricanes defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1 on Jan. 28 to extend their home winning streak to a franchise-best, and league season-high nine games (12/31-1/28). Carolina posts the best home record in the NHL at 23-4-1. Carolina currently ranks first overall in the Eastern Conference and the NHL with 80 points. With 80 points in their first 54 games, the Hurricanes have enjoyed their best first-54 games in franchise history, eclipsing the 60-point, 54-game mark recorded by the 1986-87 squad.

Hurricanes center Eric Staal netted a goal and an assist at Boston on Feb. 5 for his 20th multi-point game this season. Through games of Feb. 7, Staal ranked tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring with 71 points and tied for fourth in the league in goals with 34. Staal has notched points in 40 of the Hurricanes' 54 games this season. Through games of Feb. 7, he ranked tied for sixth in the league with three shorthanded goals and tied for eighth in the league with 13 power-play goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 70-of-358 (19.6%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 241-of-295 (81.7%)

Injury Report

  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, out two months, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky, upper body, missed 4 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 39 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule
Feb. 9 Thursday St. Pete Times Forum 11:30 a.m.
Feb. 10 Friday RBC Center 11:30 a.m.
Feb. 11 Saturday RecZone 12:15 p.m.
Feb 12 Sunday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Feb. 13 Monday Olympic Break Begins

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

Against the Lightning
The Hurricanes and Lightning meet for the fifth of eight meetings this season. The Lightning took the teams' first meeting 5-2, on opening night in Tampa, and scored another 5-2 win at the RBC Center on Nov. 20. Carolina bounced back against the defending Stanley Cup champion on Dec. 20, scoring a 6-4 win at the RBC Center, but the Lightning struck again with a 5-4 overtime win at St. Pete Times Forum on Dec. 26.

Carolina and Tampa Bay met six times during the 2003-04 season, with the Lightning posting a 3-1-2-0 victory in the season series. Sean Hill led the Hurricanes with two goals and four assists (6 points) in the season series, and now-Hurricane Cory Stillman paced the Lightning with two goals and five assists (7 points). The Hurricanes post a 25-20-11-1 all-time record against Tampa Bay, with a 16-5-7-1 home mark and a 9-15-4-0 mark in Tampa.

Hurricanes vs. Lightning 2005-06 Schedule
Oct. 5 St. Pete Times Forum L, 5-2
Nov. 20 RBC Center L, 5-2
Dec. 20 RBC Center W, 6-4
Dec. 26 St. Pete Times Forum OTL, 5-4 (OT)
Feb. 9 St. Pete Times Forum 7:30 p.m.
March 27 RBC Center 7:00 p.m.
April 14 RBC Center 7:00 p.m.
April 15 St. Pete Times Forum 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5, 2005
Tampa Bay 5, Hurricanes 2

The Hurricanes opened the 2005-06 season against defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay at St. Pete Times Forum on Oct. 5. Lightning center Vaclav Prospal scored the game's first goal and the first of three for Tampa Bay in the opening frame. Radim Vrbata notched the Hurricanes' first goal of the season to make it 1-1 before Brad Richards and Dan Boyle found the net for the Lightning. Eric Staal scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-2 just 54 seconds into the second frame, but Vincent Lecavalier answered 12:59 later and Tim Taylor scored a third period marker to seal the win for Tampa Bay. Martin Gerber started his first game for Carolina and stopped 15 of 19 shots he faced in the game's first 40 minutes before leaving the game with a hip injury. Cam Ward made his NHL debut in relief of Gerber and stopped 10 of 11 shots in the game's final period. John Grahame earned the victory between for Tampa Bay, stopping 24 of the Hurricanes' 26 shots on goal.

Nov. 20, 2005
Tampa Bay 5, Hurricanes 2

The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored a 5-2 victory at the RBC Center in the teams' second of eight regular-season meetings. Fredrik Modin led the way for the Lightning with a goal and two assists, while Brad Richards (1g, 1a), Vincent Lecavalier (1g, 1a), Paul Ranger (0g, 2a) and Dan Boyle (0g, 2a) each had two-point nights. Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams scored both of Carolina's goals and extended his points streak to four games (11/15-11/20: 4g, 2a) and his goal-scoring streak to three games (11/17-11/20: 4g, 1a). Williams' second goal came on a penalty shot that he was awarded during a Tampa Bay second-period power play after being hauled down by Boyle on a breakaway. It was Williams' second shorthanded goal in the last three games and the Hurricanes' third shorthanded goal of the season. Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle earned an assist on Williams' first goal, the 100th helper of his NHL career. Carolina right wing Radim Vrbata logged 14:58 of ice time and posted an even plus/minus rating in his 100th Hurricanes game.

Dec. 20, 2005
Hurricanes 6, Tampa Bay 4

The Carolina Hurricanes won their fourth consecutive home game and opened up a seven-point lead in the Southeast Division standings in scoring a 6-4 win against defending Stanley Cup champion and Southeast Division No. 2 Tampa Bay. Eric Staal led the way for the Hurricanes with two goals in the first period and the lone assist on Matt Cullen's game-winning goal in the third frame, breaking a 4-4 deadlock. Justin Williams scored his 13th goal of the season and earned two assists en route to being named second star of the game. Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson scored his first goal of the season during a first-period power play and wingers Cory Stillman (0g, 2a) and Erik Cole (1g, 1a), as well as defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky (0g, 2a) each notched multi-point games. Netminder Martin Gerber earned his fourth straight win, stopping 20 of 24 shots, including 10 of 10 in the third period.

Dec. 26, 2005
Lightning 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)

The Carolina Hurricanes earned a point in the Southeast Division standings despite division rival Tampa Bay scoring a 5-4 overtime win. Matt Cullen scored Carolina's first goal to tie the game after Fredrik Modin gave Tampa Bay an early 1-0 edge. Dave Andrechuk answered Cullen's goal with a shorthanded goal at 17:03 of the first period before the NHL's leading goal scorer Eric Staal buried his 10th power-play goal of the season to tie the score 2-2 at the first intermission. Former Lightning winger and now Carolina's second-leading scorer Cory Stillman notched his eighth goal of the year 3:58 into the second period before Andrechuk and Tim Taylor each notched goals to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead after two periods. Erik Cole tied the game 4-4 just 40 seconds into the second period and the teams went scoreless for the remainder of regulation before Dan Boyle scored with just 34 seconds remaining to notch the overtime win for the Lightning.

12 Staal
11 Williams
26 Cole

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

20 Prospal
19 Richards
4 Lecavalier

SV %
1 Burke
47 Grahame
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