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IRBE NAMED NHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC (April 3, 2000) -- The National Hockey League today named Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Arturs Irbe the NHL’s Player of the Week for the period of Monday, March 27 through Sunday, April 2, 2000. Irbe posted a 3-1-0 record, 1.75 goals-against-average, .933 save percentage and one shutout in the week. After allowing five goals in a 5-1 loss to Buffalo on Monday night, Irbe allowed just two goals in his next three games as the Hurricanes jumped back into the playoff picture with a three-game win streak with victories over Nashville (3-1), Buffalo (3-1), and Philadelphia (1-0).

Irbe, 33, finished his fantastic week this Sunday with a 31-save performance as the Hurricanes shutout the Philadelphia Flyers by a 1-0 score. It was Irbe’s fifth shutout this season, his 11th with the franchise, and his 24th in his NHL career. Irbe’s 11 shutouts rank tied for second with Sean Burke for most shutouts for the franchise. Mike Liut owns the record for shutouts with 13. Irbe’s 32 wins represent a single-season career best for Irbe and new franchise record for wins by a goaltender in a season. Mike Liut won 31 games in the 1986-87 season.

Irbe has started a league best 72 games this season, which is a new franchise record, and just two starts shy of his career best of 74 starts in the 1993-94 season when he played 4,412 minutes for the San Jose Sharks. This season, Irbe has played 4,166 minutes. He has started the past 21 games, which leaves his just one start shy of matching the franchise record for consecutive starts set by Sean Burke (1995-96) and Greg Millen (1985) who both made 22 consecutive starts.

Irbe is the first Carolina player to be named NHL Player of the Week since he was named the NHL Player of the Week for the period of October 25-November 1, 1998. Irbe was also named NHL Player of the Month for October on that same day. Irbe was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game last season and signed a multi-year contract in March of last season.

Carolina is currently on a three-game winning streak, which matches the team’s best win streak this season. The Hurricanes head into Pittsburgh tonight with seventh place on the line. Carolina has 80 points while the Penguins stand at 82 points. Carolina has more wins, however, giving it the edge in the tie-breaking system. The game will be televised on HTS and Fox Sports South.

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