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PREVIEW: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (24-34-7-2, 57 pts)

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CAROLINA HURRICANES (28-29-9-0, 65 pts

Wednesday, March 8, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena at 7:30 p.m….Carolina has won its past two games and is just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference…The Hurricanes play eight of the team’s next 12 games at home.

ON THE AIR:

Local Television: none

Radio: WRBZ-850 AM (Raleigh), WFAI-1230 AM (Fayetteville), WGHB 1250 AM (Greenville), WSML-1200 AM (Graham), WRMT-1490 AM (Rocky Mount), WJNC-1240 AM (Jacksonville), WRNS-960 AM (Kinston), WTRP-620 AM (La Grange, GA), WEEB-990 AM (Southern Pines), WRQR-106.7 FM (Wilmington), WSJS-600 AM (Winston-Salem), WDLZ- 98.3 FM (Murfreesboro).

CAROLINA/CHICAGO SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes meet the Blackhawks for the only time this regular season…Last season, the two teams split the series with Carolina scoring a 2-0 win in Greensboro while the Blackhawks posted a 2-1 win in Chicago…In the win in Greensboro on October 28, 1998, Arturs Irbe recorded the shutout as Carolina moved into first place in the Southeast Division, a position the team kept for the rest of the season…Carolina trails the all-time series by a 19-28-6 margin…Carolina is 12-12-3 versus the Blackhawks on home ice.

CAROLINA NOTES: The Hurricanes have the opportunity to reach the .500 mark with a win against Chicago for the first time since January 9, 2000, when Carolina shutout the New York Rangers, 1-0, to improve to 17-17-8…Carolina has won its last two games, scoring wins at Los Angeles and San Jose…Carolina has scored five goals in each of its past three outings…The Hurricanes have outscored their opponent in the third period by a 10-2 margin in the past three games…Jeff O’Neill reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career with a goal in San Jose…Carolina is 7-4-1 since the All-Star Break including a 6-2 record on the road…Arturs Irbe is closing in the franchise record for most games played in a season by a goaltender…Irbe has played 59 games…Sean Burke set the mark of 66 games in the 1995-96 season…Irbe would need six more wins to tie Mike Liut’s mark of 31 wins in a single season dating back to the 1986-87 season…Ron Francis reached the 20-goal plateau against San Jose, marking the 12th time he has done it for the franchise…Defensemen Sean Hill (19 points) and Paul Coffey (17 points) rank second and third respectively on the team in power play points…Francis leads the team with 21 points on the power play…The Hurricanes have scored just one shorthanded goal on the season, Tommy Westlund has the goal…Defenseman Dave Karpa has scored three points (1g, 2a), collected 28 penalty minutes, and is (+4) since being recalled from Cincinnati…CAROLINA AT HOME: 14-13-4 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 14-16-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 16.9% (13th in NHL) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 83.0% (17th in NHL).

CHICAGO NOTES: Despite being in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 24-34-7 record, the Blackhawks are playing their best hockey of the season…Chicago is 4-1-0 in its last five games and 5-5-0 in its last 10 contests…Chicago scored a 7-3 win against Phoenix in the team’s last outing at the United Center…Tony Amonte scored his 33rd and 34th goals of the season in the win…Amonte ranks sixth in the NHL in scoring and goal scoring…Jocelyn Thibault recorded his 23rd win of the season against Phoenix…Chicago has scored 12 goals in its past two games…CHICAGO AT HOME: 12-19-3-1 CHICAGO ON THE ROAD: 12-15-4-1 CHICAGO ON THE POWER PLAY: 17.4% (12th in NHL) CHICAGO SHORTHANDED: 82.5% (19th in NHL).

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:

Curtis Leschyshyn has missed the Hurricanes’ last 16 games due to a groin injury…The Hurricanes have lost a total of 80 games in man game lost for the season.

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