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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning


Monday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

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Hurricanes: 46-18-6 (98 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Lightning: 38-28-5 (81 pts.), Southeast Division, 2nd place

Tonight's Game

The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes continue a four-game home stand on Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network). After playing nine of 10 games on the road from March 4 to March 22, the Hurricanes returned to the RBC Center on Saturday and suffered a 3-1 loss to division rival Washington. Carolina will host the Capitals again on Wednesday (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network) and the Florida Panthers on Friday (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) to round out the current home stand.

Carolina has 12 games remaining in its 82-game regular-season schedule, with all games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hurricanes' 98 points put them four points behind Ottawa for first place in the conference and 17 points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division through games of March 25.

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour has earned points in each of the last two games (3/22-3/25: 1g, 2a)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has earned assists and points in each of the last two games (3/22-3/25: 1g, 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
  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour notched his 100th goal with the Hurricanes on March 25 against the Washington Capitals
  • Defenseman Glen Wesley will play his 1,300th NHL game with his next game played
  • Right wing Justin Williams is one point shy of 200 NHL points
  • Left wing Cory Stillman is two points shy of 500 NHL points

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 46-18-6 record, including a 23-8-2 record in 33 games since Dec. 31, and a 7-4-2 record since the Olympic Break. 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 are currently tied with Nashville for the best home record in the league at 27-6-1 (55 points). With 98 points in their first 70 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 had points seven straight games (3/10-3/22: 3g, 6a) before being held off the score sheet on Saturday against Washington. Through games of March 25, Staal ranked tied for third in the league with 91 points and fifth in the NHL with 42 goals. He has notched points in 52 of the Hurricanes' 70 games this season. Through games of March 25, he ranked tied for sixth in the league with 18 power-play goals and tied for 14th with three shorthanded goals.

CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 84-of-464 (18.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 313-of-380 (82.4%)

Injury Report

  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, lower body, day-to-day, missed 2 games
  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, lower body, day-to-day, missed 2 games
  • Forward Doug Weight, lower body, day to day, missed 2 games
  • Left wing Erik Cole, fractured vertebra 3/4, out 6-8 weeks, missed 10 games
  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, surgery 2/1, out two months, missed 18 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 55 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

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.
April 1 Saturday Philips Arena 7:00 p.m.
April 2 Sunday RecZone 12:00 p.m.
April 3 Monday RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
April 4 Tuesday RBC Center 11:00 a.m.
April 5 Wednesday Verizon Center 11:30 a.m.

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

Against the Lightning

The Hurricanes and Lightning meet for the sixth 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 and a 5-3 win in Tampa on Feb. 9. Following Monday's game, the teams will finish the season series with a back-to-back set beginning April 14 at the RBC Center.

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 25-21-11-1 all-time record against Tampa Bay, with a 16-5-7-1 home mark and a 9-16-4-0 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 OT, 5-4 (OT)
Feb. 9 St. Pete Times Forum L, 5-3
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.

Feb. 9, 2006
Lightning 5, Hurricanes 3

The Carolina Hurricanes took an early 2-0 lead on first-period goals by defensemen Aaron Ward and Anton Babchuk, but the Tampa Bay Lightning answered the call and tied the game 2-2 going into the first intermission. Left wing Erik Cole notched his 25th goal of the season to regain the lead for Carolina before the Lightning scored three unanswered to hand the Hurricanes their 13th regulation loss of the season. Cole was awarded his league-leading fifth penalty shot of the season midway through the second period, but failed to convert. Tampa Bay starting goaltender Sean Burke was pulled following Carolina's third goal and John Grahame assumed duties in the Lightning's net, stopping the Hurricanes' final 28 shots to earn the game's second star. Martin Gerber made 19 saves for Carolina and defenseman Bret Hedican earned two assists in the game.

12 Staal
11 Williams
61 Stillman
17 Brind'Amour

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

19 Richards
20 Prospal
4 Lecavalier

SV %
47 Grahame
1 Burke
50 Coleman
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