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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES at NEW JERSEY

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

2002 EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

CAROLINA HURRICANES (3-2)
vs
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (2-3)
Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Continental Airlines Arena

GAME NIGHT
The Southeast Division champion Carolina Hurricanes return to New Jersey to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Continental Airlines Arena. The Hurricanes took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 Wednesday night in Raleigh thanks to a goal by Josef Vasicek at 8:16 of the extra period. Kevin Weekes, who was making his first career playoff start, stopped 40 New Jersey shots to earn the victory.
New Jersey tied the series at 2-2 with a 3-1 victory against the Hurricanes in Game 4 on April 23 at Continental Airlines Arena. Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward scored his first career playoff goal for the Hurricanes’ lone tally as New Jersey won its second consecutive game in the series. New Jersey earned its first win of the series with a 4-0 victory on April 21 in Game 3. Devils netminder Martin Brodeur stopped 16 shots to earn the shutout. The Hurricanes established a two-game lead in the series when Bates Battaglia’s deflection of a Marek Malik shot beat Martin Brodeur at 15:26 of overtime in Game 2 on April 19. Carolina captured Game 1 on April 17, 2-1, as goaltender Arturs Irbe stopped 34 shots and the Hurricanes got goals from Rod Brind’Amour and rookie Erik Cole.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
The Hurricanes concluded the team's third season in the Triangle, fifth in North Carolina and 23rd in the NHL as the Southeast Division champions with a record of 35-26-16-5 and a total of 91 points. The point total ranks as the second highest season in franchise history behind a 93-point season in 1986-87. Carolina clinched the Southeast Division championship with a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 10 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena, marking its second division title in four years. The Hurricanes have advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in three of the last four years and have now had four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. The Hurricanes are 144-123-53-8 over the past four seasons.

PRACTICE TIMES

April 27 Saturday none
April 28 Sunday ESA TBD
April 29 Monday ESA 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

ON THE AIR
Television: ABC
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
The Carolina franchise has a 3-5 all-time record in Game 6. The franchise has gone to overtime three times in Game 6, and owns a record of 2-1 in those games.
Hurricanes netminder Kevin Weekes has made three appearances in the 2002 playoffs, including two relief efforts of Arturs Irbe. In 146 minutes of play, Weeks has a 1-0 record with a 1.64 goals against average and .949 save percentage. He has stopped 79 of 83 shots.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 3-0
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 0-2
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 3-of-19 (15.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 20-of-26 (76.9%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Defenseman David Tanabe suffured a broken wrist in Game 1 vs. New Jersey. He will be out three weeks.

CAROLINA / NEW JERSEY NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils meet for the second straight year in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Devils defeated Carolina 4-2 in the 2001 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, winning the first three games and clinching in Game 6. Bobby Holik was the leading scorer in that series with eight points (4g, 4a). Sami Kapanen led all Hurricanes scorers with five points (2g, 3a).
The Devils won this year’s regular season series 2-1-1. New Jersey defeated Carolina in both games at the Entertainment & Sports Arena, topping Carolina 2-1 on Jan. 5 and 3-2 on April 3. Carolina overcame a two-goal third period deficit to earn a 3-3 tie at New Jersey on Jan. 21. The Hurricanes defeated the Devils Jersey 4-2 at the Continental Airlines Arena on March 23. The Hurricanes are 31-37-12-1 all-time against the Devils in the regular season, including a 17-15-8-0 record at home and a 15-21-4-1 mark on the road.

GAME 1: Hurricanes 2, Devils 1
April 17, 2002
Arturs Irbe made 34 saves to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. Rod Brind’Amour got Carolina on the board with the first goal of the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs at 8:21 of the first period. Erik Cole notched the game-winning goal in his first career NHL playoff game, beating New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur at 9:43 of the first period. Patrik Elias scored the Devils’ lone goal.

GAME 2: Hurricanes 2, Devils 1 (OT)
April 19, 2002
Bates Battaglia deflected a Marek Malik shot past New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur at 15:26 of the overtime period to give Carolina a 2-1 victory and a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Rookie forward Erik Cole scored Carolina’s first goal after Battaglia sent a pass between his legs and through the legs of Devils’ defenseman Scott Stevens to Cole. Arturs Irbe stopped 30 of 31 New Jersey shots to secure the victory as the Hurricanes killed all five New Jersey power plays, including one in overtime.

GAME 3: Devils 4, Hurricanes 0
April 21, 2002
Kevin Weekes made his NHL playoff debut, stopping 22 of 23 Devils shots in relief of Arturs Irbe as the Hurricanes dropped Game 3 to the Devils at Continental Airlines Arena, 4-0. Irbe stopped nine of 12 Devils shots in 20:58 of ice time before he was replaced by Weekes. Brian Rafalski had a pair of goals and Brian Gionta and Bobby Holik also scored for New Jersey.

GAME 4: Devils 3, Hurricanes 1
April 23, 2002
Defenseman Aaron Ward scored Carolina’s lone goal, his first career playoff goal, as New Jersey tied the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals with a 3-1 victory in Game 4 at Continental Airlines Arena. For the second straight game, Kevin Weekes relieved starting goaltender Arturs Irbe, allowing just one goal on 14 shots. Irbe played the first period and gave up two goals on eight shots. Bobby Holik, Brian Gionta and Brian Rafalski scored for the Devils.

GAME 5: Hurricanes 3, Devils 2 (OT)
April 24, 2002
Josef Vasicek scored at 8:16 of the extra period to give Carolina a 3-2 overtime victory against New Jersey in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. It was the Hurricanes’ second home overtime victory in the series. Martin Gelinas scored his first playoff goal as a Hurricane in the second period and Jeff O’Neill scored his first goal of the series, a power play tally, with 1:29 left in regulation to tie the game. Kevin Weekes made his first career playoff start and was brilliant, stopping 40 of 42 shots.

NEW JERSEY NOTES
Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner returned to action on Wednesday night after missing Game 4 due to a sore leg. Right wing Petr Sykora sat out Game 5 with a sore right ankle.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
  GP G A TP
13 Battaglia 5 1 2 3
26 Cole 5 2 0 2
17 Brind'Amour 5 1 0 1
23 Gelinas 5 1 1 2
92 O'Neill 5 1 1 2
63 Vasicek 5 1 1 2
10 Francis 5 0 2 2
62 Svoboda 5 0 2 2
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
80 Weekes 3 1.64 1-0 .949
1 Irbe 4 2.39 2-2 .919
NEW JERSEY
  GP G A TP
26 Elias 5 2 4 6
16 Holik 5 4 1 5
28 Rafalski 5 3 2 5
14 Gionta 5 2 2 4
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
30 Brodeur 5 1.49 2-3 .935

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