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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at ATLANTA

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

 

CAROLINA HURRICANES (35-26-15-5, 90 pts.)

vs
ATLANTA THRASHERS (19-47-10-5, 53 pts.)
Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. at Philips Arena

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Atlanta to take on the Thrashers in their final game of the 2001-02 regular season. Carolina defeated the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Friday night in the first game of the current two-game road swing. The Hurricanes topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in their final home game of the 2001-02 regular season on April 10. With the win, the Hurricanes clinched the Southeast Division championship. Carolina has lost just four times in its last 19 games (11-4-4).
The Hurricanes are 11-5-4 in the 20 games since the Olympic Break, outscoring opponents 54-40 and outshooting opponents 604-469. The Hurricanes are 18-of-104 (17.3%) on the power play and 66-of-76 (86.8%) on the penalty kill during that span. Thirteen of the 20 games Carolina has played since the break have come against teams currently in position to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
The Hurricanes clinched the Southeast Division championship with a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 10 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. It marks Carolina’s second division title in four years. The Hurricanes have advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three of the last four years and have sealed their fourth consecutive winning season for the first time in franchise history.

MAKING FRANCHISE HISTORY
The Hurricanes have totaled 90 points through 81 games this season, the second-highest season point total in franchise history. The 1986-87 Hartford Whalers established a franchise-high 93 points in an 80-game schedule to win the Adams Division which included the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Quebec Nordiques and Buffalo Sabres.

SEASON RECORD POINTS
1986-87 43-30-7 93
2001-02 35-26-15-5 90*
2000-01 38-32-9-3 88
1998-99 34-30-18 86
1989-90 38-33-9 85
1999-2000 37-35-10 84
1985-86 40-36-4 84
    *With one game remaining

PRACTICE TIMES

April 13 Saturday Ice Forum, Atlanta 12 - 2 p.m.
April 14 Sunday Phillips Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

ON THE AIR
Television: Fox Sports Net
Radio: WRBZ-850 AM (Raleigh); WCHL-1360 AM (Chapel Hill); WDNC 620-AM (Durham); WDZL 98.3FM (Murfreesboro); WFAY 1230/1450AM (Fayetteville); WSML 1200-AM (Graham); WRMT 1490-AM (Rocky Mount); WGHB 1250-AM (Greenville); WEEB 990-AM (Southern Pines); WMFR 1230-AM (High Point); WMFD 630-AM (Wilmington); WJNC 1240-AM (Jacksonville).
Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA NOTES
Hurricanes winger Craig MacDonald scored his first NHL goal on Friday night against Florida Panthers netminder Trevor Kidd. Right wing Craig Adams earned his first NHL assist on MacDonald’s goal. Carolina defenseman Nikos Tselios made his NHL debut in the game.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 15-13-11-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 20-13-4-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 61-of-386 (15.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 275-of-329 (83.6%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman Glen Wesley suffered a separated right shoulder against New Jersey (4/3) and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

CAROLINA / ATLANTA NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Atlanta Thrashers meet today for the final of five matchups this season. Carolina won the two teams’ first three meetings this season, knocking off Atlanta in the Thrashers’ home opener at Philips Arena 5-2 on Oct. 13 and beating Atlanta in 2-1 overtime on Oct. 20 and 5-4 in overtime on Dec. 21 in Raleigh. The Two teams played to a 1-1 tie on April 7 in Raleigh. Jeff O’Neill has six points (2g, 4a) against the Thrashers this season, including the game-winner in overtime on Oct. 20. Rod Brind’Amour (2g, 3a) has five points in the season series. Rookie forward Erik Cole notched his first career hat trick against the Thrashers on Dec. 21, including the game-winner in overtime. The Hurricanes won the regular season series last year against the Thrashers with a record of 4-0-1. Carolina was 2-0-1 at Philips Arena and 2-0 at home against Atlanta. The Hurricanes are unbeaten all-time against Atlanta in the regular season, holding a 12-0-2 advantage over the third-year franchise. The Hurricanes are 7-0-1 all-time against Atlanta at home and 5-0-1 against the Thrashers at Philips Arena.

ATLANTA NOTES
Thrashers forward Dany Heatley is a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Heatley leads all rookies in points (66) and assists (41) and is second in goals (25).

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
  GP G A TP
10 Francis 80 27 50 77
24 Kapanen 77 27 42 69
92 O'Neill 76 31 33 64
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 50 2.56 20-19-10 .901
80 Weekes 21 2.56 5-9-0 .916
 
ATLANTA
  GP G A TP
15 Heatley 80 25 41 66
17 Kovalchuk 65 29 22 51
12 Hrkac 78 17 25 42
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
33 Hnilicka 59 3.22 13-33-9 .908
1 Rhodes 15 3.67 2-10-1 .893
37 Kidd 31 3.26 4-15-5 .893

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