TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (14-16-3-1, 32 pts.)
Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice Palace, Tampa, Fla.* - Statistics through Dec. 25
The Carolina Hurricanes return to the ice against Southeast Division foe Tampa Bay a day after playing host to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tampa Bay played in Nashville Wednesday night. Carolina is in the midst of a busy stretch of four games in six days before the New Year, with two sets of back-to-back games. Carolina went into Wednesday night’s game with a 5-5-0-2 in back-to-back games this season, including a 2-4-0-0 record in the first game and a 3-1-0-2 record in the second game.
PRACTICE TIMES: (all times local)
Dec. 27Ice Palace11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dec. 28ESA11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 29RecZone11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
ON THE AIR:
Television: Fox Sports South/Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 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); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem). Internet: www.nhl.com
Heading into Wednesday’s game, Hurricanes forward Rod Brind’Amour had 14 points (5g, 9a) in his last 10 games, including nine points (3g, 6a) in the last four games … Defenseman Sean Hill had a goal and four assists in eight games since his trade from St. Louis. In 23 games with the Blues, Hill had 0 goals and 3 assists. He had also seen his hits per game rise from 2.95 per game in St. Louis to 4.5 with the Hurricanes.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 10-7-2-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 7-6-2-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 24-of-188 (12.8%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 133-of-169 (80.5%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Left winger Chris Dingman missed the Hurricanes game vs. Philadelphia (12/22) with a left knee injury.
CAROLINA / TAMPA BAY SERIES:
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet Thursday night for the third of five match-ups this season. The Lightning have won both meetings thanks to shutouts by goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. He stopped 26 shots in a 2-0 victory in Tampa on Nov. 17, then followed it up a week later with a 41-save gem in a 4-0 Tampa Bay victory. The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 20-13-6-0, but are 6-10-3-0 on the road.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING NOTES:
The Lightning have played five fewer games than Carolina and are among the lowest scoring teams in the NHL. Heading into Wednesday’s games, Tampa Bay was tied with Florida for the third fewest goals scored at 70. Columbus has the fewest with 66 goals. However, the Lightning are among the league leaders in team defense, allowing 74 goals before Wednesday.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
24 Kapanen 37181836
26 St. Louis3391534