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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals


Wednesday, March 29, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center * Raleigh, NC

Listen LIVE! ( Wednesday, 7 p.m.)

Hurricanes: 47-18-6 (100 pts.), Southeast Division, 1st place
Capitals: 23-38-9 (55 pts.), Southeast Division, 5th place

Wednesday's Game

The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes continue a four-game home stand on Wednesday against the Washington Capitals (7 p.m., 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, but rebounded with a 2-1 win against Tampa Bay on Monday. Carolina will host the Florida Panthers on Friday (7 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) to round out the current home stand.

The win on Monday guaranteed the Hurricanes a spot in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Hurricanes' "magic number" to clinch the Southeast Division is two. Any combination of two points earned by Carolina or not earned by Tampa Bay will guarantee the Hurricanes a top-three seed in the playoffs as a division winner. Carolina has 11 games remaining in its 82-game regular-season schedule, with all games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hurricanes' 100 points put them two points behind Ottawa for first place in the conference and 19 points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division through games of March 27.

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 played in his 1,300th NHL game on March 27 against the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Right wing Justin Williams is one point shy of 200 NHL points
  • Left wing Cory Stillman is one point shy of 500 NHL points

Television: None
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 47-18-6 record, including a 24-8-2 record in 34 games since Dec. 31, and an 8-4-2 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 currently have the best home record in the league at 28-6-1 (57 points). With 100 points in their first 71 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 and Monday. Through games of March 27, 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' 71 games this season. Through games of March 27, 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: 85-of-469 (18.1%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 318-of-386 (82.4%)

Injury Report

  • Left wing Ray Whitney, lower body, day-to-day, missed 1 game
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Defenseman Niclas Wallin, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Forward Doug Weight, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Left wing Erik Cole, fractured vertebra 3/4, out 6-8 weeks, missed 11 games
  • Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, wrist, surgery 2/1, out two months, missed 19 games
  • Center Josef Vasicek, left knee, surgery 12/5, injured reserve, out 3-4 months, missed 56 games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

March 29 - RBC Center - 10:30 a.m.
March 30 - RecZone - 11:00 a.m.
March 31 - RBC Center - 10:30 a.m.
April 1 - Philips Arena - 11:30 a.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 Capitals

Saturday marks the fifth 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. The Capitals have won the teams' two most recent meetings, 5-2 on Jan. 21 in Washington, and 3-1 on March 25 at the RBC Center. 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 31-54-14-1 all-time regular-season record against the Capitals, including a 16-24-10-1 home mark and a 15-30-4-0 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 - L, 5-2
Mar. 25 - RBC Center - L, 3-1
Mar. 29 - RBC Center - 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 3 - RBC Center - 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 5 - Verizon Center - 7:00 p.m.
Apr. 7 - Verizon 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).

Jan. 21, 2006
Washington 5, Hurricanes 2
The Washington Capitals scored a 5-2 victory at the MCI Center to snap Carolina's second nine-game winning streak of the season. Hurricanes winger Erik Cole tied his career high for goals in a season when he beat Capitals netminder Olie Kolzig on a shorthanded penalty shot midway through the third period to make the score 3-1. Captain Rod Brind'Amour added his 21st goal of the season 2:13 later to bring Carolina within one, but Brooks Laich sealed the Washington victory with his fourth marker of the year with 3:14 remaining in the final period. Martin Gerber suffered his eighth loss of the season and first since Dec. 28 while stopping 22 of 26 shots. The game marked the Hurricanes debut of defenseman Anton Babchuk who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 20.

March 25, 2006
Washington 3, Hurricanes 1

The Washington Capitals jumped to an early lead when rookie sensation Alex Ovechkin scored just 1:50 into the game. Matt Pettingeer notched a shorthanded goal early in the second period to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead before Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour got the Hurricanes on the board with a 5-on-3 power-play goal 3:02 into the third stanza. Brind'Amour appeared to score again about five minutes later, but the goal was denied when it was ruled that Justin Williams was in the Washington crease. Minutes later, Capitals winger Dainius Zubrus redirected Bryan Muir's point shot to give Washington a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish. Martin Gerber stopped 18 of 21 Capitals shots in the game, but a first-star, 33-save performance from Washington netminder Olie Kolzig was the difference in the game.

12 Staal
61 Stillman
11 Williams
17 Brind'Amour

SV %
29 Gerber
30 Ward

8 Ovechkin
9 Zubrus
17 Clark

SV %
37 Kolzig
1 Johnson
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