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HURRICANES STRIKE LIGHTNING WITH 5-2 BOLT

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes


RALEIGH, NC (JAN. 29, 2001) – The Carolina Hurricanes broke a three-game home losing streak with a 5-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Hurricanes winger Jeff O’Neill netted his 24th and 25th goals of the season and captain Ron Francis earned three assists for his 1,599th, 1,600th and 1,601st career NHL points to lead the Hurricanes' scoring attack.

The Hurricanes struck first when defenseman Marek Malik pounded the puck past Tampa Bay goaltender Dan Cloutier’s left skate. Francis and O’Neill both earned assists on the goal, Malik’s third this season.

Carolina struck again at 12:21 of the first period when O’Neill found the net. O’Neill and Francis’ line-mate, winger Sami Kapanen, fired a shot just wide of the right goal post and onto O’Neill’s stick. O’Neill lifted the puck into the net for his 12th goal this season at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Tampa Bay winger Fredrik Modin returned Carolina’s two goals in the second period. At 2:05, he found the net while the Lightning had a man-advantage. At 11:43 he tied the game 2-2 during an even strength situation. The goals were Modin’s 23rd and 24th of the season.

O’Neill struck back less than two minutes later at 13:18 when he trickled a shot past Cloutier. The goal proved to be the game-winner. The game was O’Neill’s fifth two-goal game in January.

“He’s on a roll,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said of O’Neill. “This guy just keeps shooting the puck. Couple real nice plays by Ronnie Francis. Some pretty special stuff going on there --1,600 points, not too bad.”

“I just can’t say enough,” said O’Neill. “Producing in this league is who you’re playing with. I feel like I’ve said it a thousand times, but my centerman is a world-class hockey player and so is my left wing and I’m just reaping the benefits of playing with those two players.”

Francis’ 1,600th NHL point comes on the heels of his moving into fifth place on the NHL all-time points scorers list. Francis passed Phil Esposito (1,590 pts.) when the Hurricanes shutout the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 4-0 on Jan. 14 in Raleigh.

“It’s something that I’m really proud of,” said Francis. “It’s something that only four guys have done before and to be able to accomplish that, again, is something that I’m extremely proud of.”

The win gave the Hurricanes their 18th point in January, breaking the franchise record of 17. The Hurricanes franchise had earned 17 points twice before during the 1984-85 and 1995-96 seasons.

“In November and December, with the schedule as tough as it was, and surviving that, we knew we were in a position to bring ourselves into the hunt with a really strong January,” said Francis. “We’ve been able to accomplish that. We’ve got two more games before the All-Star break and we want to play as well as we can in those and hope we can get a couple of victories. The schedule turns ugly again after the All-Star break and we have to take every opportunity we can going down the stretch.”

O’Neill said that the most important thing to him and his teammates is getting to the playoffs.

“Guys like me and Glen Wesley, we’ve been here six years and we don’t care who scores the goals for us,” said O’Neill. “We want to get to the playoffs. We’ve been to the playoffs once since I’ve been here. For the young guys in their first year, some guys have been here longer and we want to make the playoffs. I hope they realize that and we’re going to make a push here in the next couple of months.”

NOTES: Carolina defenseman Niclas Wallin suffered a strained shoulder at the 6:13 mark of the third period when he was hit into the boards. He did not return to the game.

  1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
Tampa Bay 0 2 0 2
Carolina 2 1 2 5

First Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Malik 3 (Francis, Oneill), 8:39. 2, Carolina, Oneill 24 (Kapanen, Francis), 12:21. -

Second Period: Scoring: 3, Tampa Bay, Modin 23 (power play) (B Richards, Zyuzin), 2:05. 4, Tampa Bay, Modin 24 (Holzinger, P Mara), 11:43. 5, Carolina, Oneill 25 (power play) (Francis), 13:18. Penalties: Malik, Car (slashing), 0:43; Malik, Car (Obstr holding), 4:59; Brindamour, Car (high sticking), 7:59; Millar, T.B. (Tripping), 12:38; Oneill, Car (interference), 19:14.-

Third Period: Scoring: 6, Carolina, Willis 11 (power play) (Gelinas, Malik), 4:15. 7, Carolina, Gelinas 17 (G Wesley, Brindamour), 18:32. Penalties: Millar, T.B. (Slashing), 2:56; Sarich, T.B. (Roughing), 7:58; Primeau, T.B. (Tripping), 9:19.-

SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay   5 8 3 --16
Carolina   15 5 15 --35

Power-play Conversions: Tam - 1 of 4, Car - 2 of 4. Goalies: Tampa Bay, D Cloutier (35 shots, 30 saves; record: 3-13-3). Carolina, Irbe (16, 14; record: 21-17-6). A: 8,030. Referees: Faucette, Joannette. Linesmen: Mach, Nelson.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS
Tampa Bay         Carolina        
  G A +/- Shots   G A +/- Shots
B Richards
Ekman
Elich
Holzinger
Ja Cullimore
Keefe
Kharitonov
Kubina
M Johnson
Millar
Modin
P Mara
Primeau
R Johnson
Sarich
St Louis
Warriner
Zyuzin
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
-2
even
-1
+1
-1
even
-1
-1
-1
even
+1
-1
-1
-1
-1
even
-1
even
1
4
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
3
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
J Daniels
Kapanen
Karpa
Langdon
Malik
Oneill
Ozolinsh
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Wallin
Willis
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
3
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
-1
even
-1
+2
+1
+1
even
+2
+2
even
+2
+2
-1
even
even
even
even
+1
2
3
3
0
0
7
0
1
2
0
4
4
0
1
0
4
0
4
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