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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at NEW JERSEY

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
CAROLINA HURRICANES (29-23-14-5, 77 pts.)

vs
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (32-25-9-4, 77 pts.)
Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the Continental Airlines Arena

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes hit the road to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena on Thursday, snapping a streak of seven consecutive home ties. Carolina has lost just once in its last nine games (5-1-3) and currently sits in first place in the Southeast Division (77 points).

THE RACE FOR THE SOUTHEAST
The Hurricanes currently hold an eight-point lead over the second-place Washingon Capitals as Carolina attempts to capture its second division title in four years. Both teams have 11 games remaining and play six of their remaining 11 games on the road:
Carolina (77 points, 11 games remaining): 3/23 at NJD, 3/26 vs. BOS, 3/28 vs. PHI, 3/30 at BOS, 4/1 at OTT, 4/3 vs. NJD, 4/7 vs. ATL, 4/8 at NYI, 4/10 vs. TBL, 4/12 at FLA, 4/14 at ATL.
Washington (60 points, 11 games remaining): 3/23 at CBJ, 3/24 at PIT, 3/26 at BUF, 3/29 at NJD, 3/30 vs. NYI, 4/3 vs. TBL, 4/5 vs. OTT, 4/6 at NYI, 4/9 vs. CHI, 4/12 at BUF, 4/13 vs. NJD.

PRACTICE TIMES

March 23 Saturday Continental Airlines Arena, N.J. 8 - 9 a.m.
March 24 Sunday RecZone 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
March 25 Monday RecZone 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
March 26 Tuesday ESA 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
March 27 Wednesday RecZone 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
March 28 Thursday ESA 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

ON THE AIR
Television: NHL Center Ice.
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
Ron Francis is in the midst of a six-game point streak (3/7-3/21: 6g, 3a). Francis has accumulated 15 points (7g, 8a) in 10 games since the Olympic Break. A potential candidate for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP, as well as the Lady Byng and Masterton trophies, Francis was sixth in the league in scoring (68 points), sixth in assists (43), first in power-play points (36), second in power-play assists (24) and fourth in power-play goals (12) through games of March 21. He is sixth in the league in faceoff percentage (58.0%) and also leads Carolina in games played (71), game-winning goals (5) and shooting-percentage (16.8%).

CAROLINA AT HOME: 13-11-10-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 16-12-4-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 51-of-335 (15.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 242-of-293 (82.6%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Forward Tommy Westlund missed the game vs. Florida (3/21) with a back injury. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Feb. 9 retroactive to Jan. 18.

CAROLINA / NEW JERSEY NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils meet for the third of four match-ups this season. New Jersey defeated Carolina 2-1 on Jan. 5 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena to open the season series. Carolina overcame a two-goal third period deficit to earn a 3-3 tie at New Jersey on Jan. 21. The Devils won the regular season series last year, 2-1-1, beating the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 18 and 7-3 on March 2 at Continental Airlines Arena. The Hurricanes were 1-0-1 against New Jersey at home, earning a 3-3 tie on Dec. 27 and a 3-2 win on Feb. 23. The Devils defeated Carolina four games to two in the 2001 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, winning the first three games and clinching in Game Six. The Hurricanes are 30-36-12-1 all-time against the Devils in the regular season, including a 17-14-8-0 record at home and a 14-21-4-1 mark on the road.

NEW JERSEY NOTES
The Devils acquired Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday in exchange for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first-round draft choice. New Jersey has won five of its last six games to surge into the seventh slot in the Eastern Conference.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
  GP G A TP
10 Francis 71 25 43 68
24 Kapanen 68 25 36 61
92 O'Neill 67 25 31 56
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 41 2.71 15-16-9 .897
80 Weekes 20 2.83 4-9-0 .914
 
NEW JERSEY
  GP G A TP
26 Elias 63 23 29 52
25 Nieuwendyk 69 24 26 50
28 Rafalski 65 7 38 45
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
30 Brodeur 63 2.21 30-24-9 .904
34 Vanbiesbrouck 3 1.69 1-2-0 .936

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