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Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. FLORIDA

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
CAROLINA HURRICANES (14-12-4-3, 35 pts.)
vs.
FLORIDA PANTHERS (7-16-2-3, 19 pts.)
Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Entertainment & Sports Arena

GAME NIGHT:
The Carolina Hurricanes return home after sweeping a two-game road trip to take on the Florida Panthers at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime on Monday after snapping a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday in Sunrise. Hurricanes forward Rod Brind’Amour is one point shy of 800 career NHL points.

PRACTICE TIMES: (all times local)
Dec. 12ESA10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 13Reczone11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 14HSBC Arena11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

ON THE AIR:
Television: CSN/FSN
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); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem).
Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA NOTES:
Carolina, who struggled on the power play for much of the season, has scored power-play goals in each of the last five games and is 7-for-24 (29.2%) on the power play during that span, including Ron Francis’ game-winning overtime goal on Monday in New York.

The Hurricanes’ top line of Ron Francis, Sami Kapanen, and Jeff O’Neill has returned to the dominance it showed early in the season over the last five games (11/30-12/10). Francis (3g, 4a) and Kapanen (3g, 5a) are each currently riding five-game point streaks, and O’Neill has six points (2g, 4a) over that same five-game span. Kapanen has 11 points in the last seven games and was ranked third in the NHL in goals (17) and fifth in points (33) through Dec. 10. Francis is first in the NHL in assists (22) and power-play assists (14) and tied for third in power-play points (16). O’Neill is tied for eighth in the league in goals (16).

CAROLINA AT HOME: 8-6-2-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 6-6-2-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 19-of-164 (11.6%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 119-of-150 (79.3%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
The Hurricanes have no injuries to report

CAROLINA / FLORIDA SERIES:
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers meet for the second of five games this season, and the first of three games between the teams at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. The Hurricanes won the two teams’ first meeting this season, overcoming a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 at National Car Rental Center on Dec. 8. Sami Kapanen (1g, 1a), Jeff O’Neill (1g, 1a) and Ron Francis (0g, 2a) each had multi-point nights for Carolina. The Hurricanes won last year’s season series 2-1-2, splitting two games at the ESA and going unbeaten (1-0-2) at the National Car Rental Center. Martin Gelinas and Sami Kapanen led the Hurricanes with four points apiece against Florida last season. The all-time series between the two franchises is tied at 14-14-8-0. Carolina is 8-8-1-0 at home and 6-6-7-0 in Florida.

FLORIDA PANTHERS NOTES:
The Florida Panthers have not played a game since a 3-2 loss to Carolina last Saturday. That game marked new Florida head coach Mike Keenan’s second game as Panthers coach. Keenan won his first game with Florida, a 2-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Florida sniper Pavel Bure may return to action on Wednesday after missing three weeks due to a concussion.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES GPGATP
24 Kapanen 31171633
92 O’Neill33161329
10 Francis3362228

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
35 Barrasso182.367-7-3.918
1 Irbe163.147-8-1.887

FLORIDAGPGATP
22 Huselius2813619
25 Kozlov2761319
10 Bure218715

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
1 Luongo202.466-13-1.918
37 Kidd103.301-6-1.889

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