BUFFALO SABRES (22-25-4-1, 49 pts.)
Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Entertainment & Sports Arena
RON FRANCIS NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes host the Buffalo Sabres at the Entertainment & Sports Arena on Tuesday night. Carolina is looking to break a six-game winless streak (0-2-4-0). Hurricanes captain Ron Francis earned an assist on Jeff O’Neill’s third-period goal at Philadelphia on Saturday, passing Ray Bourque for second on the NHL’s all-time assists list with 1,170 assists. Francis will be honored for that and several other milestones in special “Ron Francis Night” festivities before and throughout Tuesday’s game against the Sabres. Francis scored his 500th NHL goal on Jan. 2 against Boston, becoming the fifth player in league history to record 500 goals and 1,000 assists (Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Marcel Dionne -- Steve Yzerman reached the milestone with his 1,000th assist on Jan. 20). He also played in his 1,000th game with the franchise on Jan. 2 and played in his 1,500th NHL game on Oct. 26 against the New York Islanders. Pre-game ceremonies for “Ron Francis Night” begin at 7 p.m. All fans in attendance will receive a special commemorative coin celebrating Francis’s 500th goal.
PRACTICE TIMES: (all times local)
Jan. 29 ESA 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 30 Tampa Bay 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 None
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).
Hurricanes Hurricanes captain Ron Francis was ranked first in the league in power-play points (29) and power-play assists (21) through games of Jan. 27. Francis, who will turn 39 on March 1, was fifth in the NHL in assists (33) and ninth in points (49) – just six points behind league-leader Joe Thornton. Francis, who was originally drafted by the organization in 1981, is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (1,011), goals (339), assists (721), points (1,060), hat tricks (9), game-winning goals (52) and power-play goals (113). Francis is now ranked sixth on the NHL’s career games list with 1,543. He passed John Bucyk (1,540) on Jan. 21 vs. Vancouver. If he plays in every game, he will tie fifth-place Alex Delvecchio (1,549) Feb. 8 at Anaheim.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 12-11-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 10-8-4-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 41-of-261 (15.7%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 189-of-231 (81.8%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Forward Tommy Westlund missed the Hurricanes’ game at Philadelphia due to a back injury.
Defenseman Bret Hedican missed the Hurricanes’ game at Philadelphia due to a back injury.
Forward Martin Gelinas missed the Hurricanes’ game at Philadelphia due to a concussion.
CAROLINA / BUFFALO NOTES:
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres meet for the fourth of four games this season. Buffalo won the teams’ first two meetings this season, defeating Carolina by a 4-2 count on Dec. 4 in Raleigh and winning 3-2 in overtime in Buffalo on Dec. 14. Carolina’s lone with came on New Year’s Eve in Buffalo, 5-4. Ron Francis leads all scorers in this year’s season series with five points (3g, 2a) – including the 498th and 499th goals of his NHL career on Dec. 31 in Buffalo.The Sabres lead the all-time series between the two franchises 76-53-17, including a 33-30-10-0 advantage away from home.
The Buffalo Sabres knocked off the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime on Sunday to win their second consecutive game – each coming against Southeast Division opponents. The Sabres are 8-4-0 against teams from the Southeast Division this season, including a 2-1-0 record against the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
HURRICANES GP G A TP
24 Kapanen 53 20 29 49
10 Francis 55 16 33 49
92 O’Neill 51 20 24 44
17 Brind’Amour 55 13 26 39
GOALIES GP GAA W-L-T SV%
35 Barrasso 30 2.69 11-11-6 .906
1 Irbe 29 2.97 11-13-4 .890
BUFFALO GP G A TP
81 Satan 52 18 22 40
41 Barnes 52 16 23 39
17 Dumont 52 18 15 33
GOALIES GP GAA W-L-T SV%
43 Biron 45 2.35 20-20-3 .909
35 Noronen 5 2.63 2-1-1 .895
31 Essensa 7 3.23 0-5-0 .840