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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

Saturday, Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
MCI Center, Washington, DC

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Hurricanes: 32-10-4 (68 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Capitals: 16-24-5 (37 pts.), Southeast Division, 5th place

Saturday's Game
The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes visit Washington, DC and the MCI Center for a Saturday night match up against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes are on their second nine-game winning streak of the season, tying the franchise record the team set earlier this season from Oct. 22 to Nov. 11, and tying their own league-leading winning streak. The franchise's longest winning streak prior to this season was seven games, set March 16-29, 1985. Carolina's last regulation loss came on Dec. 28 at Ottawa.

With a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday, Carolina moved its NHL-leading home record for 2005-06 to 21-4-1. Only the Vancouver Canucks (17-3-3) have fewer regulation losses than the Hurricanes at home this season. Carolina's current seven-game home winning streak ranks tied for third-longest home winning streak in the NHL this year.

Overall, the Hurricanes post a 32-10-4 record, have earned points in 18 of the last 20 games (12/6-1/19: 16-2-2) and hold the largest lead of any NHL division leader. With 68 points in their first 46 games, the Hurricanes have enjoyed their best first-46 games in franchise history, eclipsing the 50-point, 46-game start by the 1986-87 and 2001-02 squads.

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • The Carolina Hurricanes have earned points in 10 straight games (12/29-1/19: 9-0-1) including wins in nine straight (12/31-1/19)
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have won each of their last seven games at the RBC Center (12/31-1/19)
  • Goaltender Martin Gerber has earned wins in each of his last six games (12/31-1/4, 1/7-1/13, 1/17)
  • Center Eric Staal has points in each of the last five games (1/10-1/19: 4g, 5a)
  • Left wing Erik Cole has points in each of the last five games (1/10-1/19: 4g, 3a)
  • Center Matt Cullen has goals and points in each of the last two games (1/17-1/19: 2g, 0a)

Milestone Watch

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

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

Carolina Notes
With their win against the New York Islanders on Jan. 19, the Hurricanes extended their winning streak to nine games. This is the Hurricanes' second nine-game winning streak this season, having won nine straight from Oct. 22 to Nov. 11 earlier this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, just four other teams in NHL history have had two winning streaks of nine or more games in a season prior to the Hurricanes this season - 1929-30 Boston Bruins: 14- and 11-game winning streaks; 1943-44 Montreal Canadiens: nine- and 10-game winning streaks; 1970-71 Boston Bruins: 10- and 13-game winning streaks; 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings: two nine-game winning streaks.

On Jan. 16 the NHL named Hurricanes center Eric Staal its Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Staal scored his second career hat trick and third four-point night of the season in Carolina's 4-2 win against St. Louis on Jan. 15, had two assists against Detroit on Jan. 10 and an assist against Nashville on Jan. 13 to complete the week with seven points and a plus-3 rating. Through games of Jan. 19, Staal ranked tied for fourth in the NHL with 30 goals and tied for sixth with 61 points. Staal has notched points in 35 of the Hurricanes' 46 games this season. Through games of Jan. 19, he ranked tied for third in the league with three shorthanded goals and tied for seventh in the league with 12 power-play goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 59-of-303 (19.5%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 206-of-255 (80.8%)

Injury Report

  • Left wing Cory Stillman, torso injury, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, sprained shoulder, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Defenseman Aaron Ward, hernia, surgery 1/11, injured reserve, out 3-6 weeks, missed 3 games
  • Defenseman Glen Wesley, MCL sprain (right knee), 12/31, out 4-6 weeks, missed 7 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 30 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule
Jan. 21 Saturday none
Jan. 22 Sunday RBC Center 12:00 p.m.
Jan. 23 Monday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 24 Tuesday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
Jan. 25 Wednesday BankAtlantic Center 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 26 Thursday Philips Arena 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 27 Friday RecZone 12:00 p.m.
Jan. 28 Saturday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 29 Sunday none
Jan. 30 Monday RecZone 11:00 a.m.
Jan. 31 Tuesday Bell Centre 11:30 a.m.

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

Against the Capitals
Saturday marks the third of eight regular-season meetings between Carolina and Washington. Carolina scored a 7-2 victory in the teams' first meeting on Oct. 12 at the RBC Center, and took a 4-0 shutout win at the MCI Center on Oct. 22.

Washington went 4-1-1-0 against Carolina in 2003-04. Justin Williams led Carolina with four points (2g, 2a) in the season series, despite playing in just three of the teams' six match ups. Now Detroit Red Wing Robert Lang led Washington in 2003-04 against Carolina with 11 points (6g, 5a) in the six meetings. The Hurricanes post a 31-52-14-1 all-time regular-season record against the Capitals, including a 16-23-10-1 home mark and a 15-29-4-0 record on the road.

Hurricanes vs. Capitals 2005-06 Schedule
Oct. 12 RBC Center W, 7-2
Oct. 22 MCI Center W, 4-0
Jan. 21 MCI Center 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 25 RBC Center 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 29 RBC Center 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 3 RBC Center 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 5 MCI Center 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 7 MCI Center 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 12, 2005
Hurricanes 7, Washington 2
The Hurricanes broke their three-game streak of scoring two goals per game when the Washington Capitals visited the RBC Center. After falling behind early on a goal by Caps rookie standout Alex Ovechkin, the Hurricanes used Matt Cullen's first goal with Carolina to even the score. Eric Staal scored the Hurricanes' first power-play goal of 2005-06 to tie the game 2-2, extending his goal-scoring streak to four games (10/5-10/12: 5g, 3a). Staal later added three assists, the first coming on Bret Hedican's game-winner late in the second period. Hedican finished the game with a goal and two assists to earn first-star honors. The game was Staal's first four-point NHL game and first NHL three-assist game, and he earned the game's second star. Captain Rod Brind'Amour added a third-period power-play goal and had two assists, taking home third-star honors. First-year NHLer Niklas Nordgren notched his first NHL goal with 5:15 remaining in the game, closing the scoring on the Hurricanes' first seven-goal outing since a 7-3 win at Montreal on Nov. 23, 2002. Erik Cole and Justin Williams each scored their first goal of 2005-06 and gave Carolina seven different goal scorers in a game for the first time since Jan. 9, 2001, a 7-3 win against Florida at the RBC Center. Cam Ward got the win for the Hurricanes, stopping 26 of 28 shots.

Oct. 22, 2005
Hurricanes 4, Washington 0

Hurricanes netminders Cam Ward (1 save) and Martin Gerber (17 saves) recorded the first combined shutout in franchise history, and the team's first shutout of 2005-06 as Carolina took a 4-0 victory at Washington. Ray Whitney had a goal and an assist in his first regular-season game with the Hurricanes. Captain Rod Brind'Amour extended his goals and points streaks to four games (10/12-10/22: 5g, 2a), and Alternate Captain Cory Stillman earned first-star honors as he recorded his second multiple-point game (1g, 1a) of the season, extending his points streak to four games (10/12-10/22: 2g, 4a). Erik Cole recorded seven shots and two assists, extending his points streak to four games (10/12-10/22: 3g, 4a), and Matt Cullen scored his third goal of the season. The game was the fourth straight in which the Hurricanes collected at least one point, and the team's first shutout since a 2-0 win at Toronto on Jan. 27, 2004 (Kevin Weekes, 32 saves).

12 Staal
61 Stillman
11 Williams

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

8 Ovechkin
9 Zubrus
6 Heward

SV %
37 Kolzig
12 Johnson
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