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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

Pre-Game Skate: HURRICANES vs. THRASHERS

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
CAROLINA HURRICANES (32-25-14-5, 83 pts.)

vs
ATLANTA THRASHERS (19-47-8-4, 50 pts.)
Sunday, April 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Entertainment & Sports Arena

GAME NIGHT
The Carolina Hurricanes face off against the Atlanta Thrashers in the final game of a two-game homestand at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. The Hurricanes fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Wednesday night in Raleigh. Carolina has lost just four times in its last 15 games (8-4-3) and currently sits in first place in the Southeast Division (83 points).
The Hurricanes are 8-5-3 in the 16 games since the Olympic Break, outscoring opponents 44-35 and outshooting opponents 473-367. The Hurricanes are 15-of-81 (18.5%) on the power play and 52-of-62 (83.9%) on the penalty kill during that span. Twelve of the 16 games Carolina has played since the break have come against teams currently in position to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

THE RACE FOR THE SOUTHEAST
The Hurricanes currently hold an three-point lead over the second-place Washingon Capitals as Carolina attempts to capture its second division title in four years. The Hurricanes have five games remaining and play three of their remaining five games on the road:
Carolina (83 points, five games remaining): 4/7 vs. ATL, 4/8 at NYI, 4/10 vs. TBL, 4/12 at FLA, 4/14 at ATL.
Washington (80 points, four games remaining): 4/6 at NYI, 4/9 vs. CHI, 4/12 at BUF, 4/13 vs. NJD.

PRACTICE TIMES

April 7 Sunday ESA 9 - 10 a.m.
April 8 Monday Nassau Coliseum 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
April 9 Tuesday ESA 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
April 10 Wednesday ESA 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
April 11 Thursday ESA 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
April 12 Friday National Car Rental Center 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
April 13 Saturday Ice Forum, Atlanta 12 - 2 p.m.
April 14 Sunday Phillips Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

ON THE AIR
Television: none
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
Team captain and center Ron Francis has 22 points (7g, 15a) in the 16 games since the break. Through games of April 5, Francis was fourth in the NHL in scoring (75 points), tied for second in assists (50), first in power-play points (40), second in power-play assists (28), eighth in power-play goals (12) and sixth in face-off percentage (58.4).

CAROLINA AT HOME: 14-13-10-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 18-13-4-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 58-of-363 (16.0%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 261-of-315 (82.9%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE
Forward Tommy Westlund missed the game vs. New Jersey (4/3) with a back injury. He was activated from Injured Reserve on Apr. 6 and will be available on Sunday.
Forward Jeff Daniels missed the game vs. New Jersey (4/3) with a concussion. He is day-to-day.
Forward Darren Langdon missed the game vs. New Jersey (4/3) due to a shoulder injury. He is day-to-day.
Defenseman Glen Wesley suffered a separated shoulder against New Jersey (4/3) and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.
Defenseman Sean Hill left the game against New Jersey (4/3) with back spasms. He is day-to-day.

CAROLINA / ATLANTA NOTES
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Atlanta Thrashers meet tonight for the fourth of five matchups this season, and the final meeting at the Entertainment & Sports Arena. Carolina won the two teams’ first three meetings this season, knocking off Atlanta in the Thrashers’ home opener at Philips Arena 5-2 on Oct. 13 and beating Atlanta in 2-1 overtime on Oct. 20 and 5-4 in overtime on Dec. 21 in Raleigh. Jeff O’Neill has five points (2g, 3a) against the Thrashers this season, including the game-winner in overtime on Oct. 20. Rod Brind’Amour (2g, 3a) also has five points in the season series. Rookie forward Erik Cole notched his first career hat trick against the Thrashers on Dec. 21, including the game-winner in overtime. The Hurricanes won the regular season series last year against the Thrashers with a record of 4-0-1. Carolina was 2-0-1 at Philips Arena and 2-0 at home against Atlanta. Carolina clinched a spot in the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 against Atlanta at the Entertainment & Sports Arena on April 6, 2001. The Hurricanes are unbeaten all-time against Atlanta in the regular season, holding a 12-0-1 advantage over the third-year franchise.

ATLANTA NOTES
Thrashers rookie Dany Heatley leads all NHL rookies with 62 points (23g, 39a) in 78 games. A leading candidate for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, Heatley is also first among rookies in assists (39), power-play goals (7), power-play assists (11), power-play points (18) and second in goals (23).

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES
  GP G A TP
10 Francis 77 25 50 75
24 Kapanen 74 26 40 66
92 O'Neill 73 30 31 61
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
1 Irbe 47 2.64 18-19-9 .898
80 Weekes 20 2.83 4-9-0 .914
 
ATLANTA
  GP G A TP
15 Heatley 78 23 39 62
17 Kovalchuk 65 29 22 51
12 Hrkac 76 17 24 41
Goalies GP GAA W-L-T SV%
33 Hnilicka 56 3.22 13-32-7 .908
35 Cassivi 6 3.32 2-3-0 .918
31 Nurminen 9 3.61 2-5-0 .898
1 Rhodes 15 3.67 2-10-1 .893

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