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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. BOSTON

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
CAROLINA HURRICANES (30-23-14-5, 79 pts.)

vs
BOSTON BRUINS (40-21-5-7, 92 pts.)
Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Entertainment & Sports Arena

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes return home to the Entertainment & Sports Arena for a two-game homestand against the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, beginning Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins. The Hurricanes defeated the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils 4-2 at Continental Airlines Arena on Saturday afternoon and are unbeaten in their last three games (2-0-1). Carolina has lost just once in its last 10 games (6-1-3) and currently sits in first place in the Southeast Division (79 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. The Hurricanes have 10 games remaining and play five of their remaining 10 games on the road:
Carolina (79 points, 10 games remaining): 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 (71 points, nine games remaining): 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 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.
March 29 Friday RecZone 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
March 30 Saturday FleetCenter 8 - 9 a.m.
March 31 Sunday ESA 11 a.m. - 1 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
Ron Francis is in the midst of a season-high seven-game point streak (3/7-3/23: 6g, 5a). Francis has accumulated 17 points (7g, 10a) in 11 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 (70 points), fifth in assists (45), first in power-play points (37), second in power-play assists (25) and fourth in power-play goals (12) through games of March 24. He was sixth in the league in faceoff percentage (58.0%) and also leads Carolina in games played (72), game-winning goals (5) and shooting-percentage (16.8%).
With his next victory, goaltender Arturs Irbe will tie Mike Liut for first on the franchise’s all-time victories list with 115. Irbe is second in franchise history in goals against average (2.43) and first in shutouts (19).

CAROLINA AT HOME: 13-11-10-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 17-12-4-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 52-of-339 (15.3%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 244-of-295 (82.7%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Forward Tommy Westlund missed the game vs. New Jersey (3/23) with a back injury. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Feb. 9 retroactive to Jan. 18.

CAROLINA / BOSTON NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Boston Bruins clash for the third of four games this season and the final meeting at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. The two teams will meet for the final time this season on Saturday afternoon in Boston. Carolina defeated Boston 6-2 in the most recent matchup, as Ron Francis had a four-point night (1g, 3a) at the FleetCenter in Boston. The Bruins won the first matchup with the Hurricanes this season, spoiling a historic night at the Entertainment & Sports Arena as Francis scored his 500th career NHL goal. Carolina hasn’t lost a season series to the Bruins since the 1995-96 season. Since then, the Hurricanes are 15-9-2-0 agaisnt Boston. Carolina trails the all-time series 52-78-14-0, including a 31-33-7-0 mark at home and a 21-45-7-0 record in Boston.

BOSTON NOTES
The Bruins are currently the top team in the Eastern Conference and own the second-most points in the NHL with 92. Boston enters Tuesday’s game on a five-game winning streak that began with a 2-1 win against Detroit on March 16 and was kept alive with a 4-3 overtime win against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Bruins forward Bill Guerin is currently second in the league in goal scoring with 36. Boston picked up veteran defenseman Sean Brown from Edmonton on March 19. The Bruins gave up young defenseman Bobby Allen in the deal.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
  GP G A TP
10 Francis 72 25 45 70
24 Kapanen 69 25 37 62
92 O'Neill 68 26 31 57
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 42 2.69 16-16-9 .897
80 Weekes 20 2.83 4-9-0 .914
 
BOSTON
  GP G A TP
14 Samsonov 65 27 36 63
19 Thornton 61 22 40 62
13 Guerin 69 36 24 60
27 Murray 73 33 27 60
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
34 Dafoe 57 2.22 32-23-2 .908
47 Grahame 17 2.83 8-5-2 .902

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