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PREVIEW: HURRICANES at ATLANTA

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

CAROLINA HURRICANES (22-20-6-2, 52 pts.)


VS.
ATLANTA THRASHERS (16-25-9-2, 43 pts.)
Thursday, February 1, 2001 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME DAY:
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Atlanta to face the Thrashers in the final game before the NHL All-Star Break and the first of five consecutive games on the road. The Hurricanes have lost just four of their last 15 games overall (9-4-2). The team made January 2001 the most productive January in franchise history. Carolina was 8-4-2 in January for 18 points. The previous franchise record for points in January was 17 set during the 1995-96 season (8-4-1) and the 1987-88 season (8-6-1). The Hurricanes are unbeaten this season when leading after two periods (17-0-1).

PRACTICE TIMES:
Feb. 1ThursdayAtlantaPregame skate
Feb. 2-4OFFAll-Star Weekend
Feb. 5MondayPhoenix4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.*
Feb. 6TuesdayPhoenix10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.*
Feb. 7WednesdayPhoenix11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.*
* times are local times in Phoenix

ON THE AIR:
Local Television: none
Radio: WTRP-620 AM (La Grange, Ga.); 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); WLNR-1230 AM (Kinston).Internet: www.nhl.com

CAROLINA / ATLANTA SERIES:
The Hurricanes and the Thrashers meet for the second of five regular season match-ups this season. The Hurricanes defeated Atlanta 5-3 in the teams’ first meeting this season on Dec. 6, in Atlanta. The Hurricanes remain unbeaten all-time against Atlanta (6-0-0), after defeating the Thrashers in all five of the teams’ match-ups last season—the Thrashers’ inaugural season. Hurricane team captain Ron Francis led all scorers in last season’s series with nine points (2g, 7a) in the five contests. The Hurricanes are 6-0-0-0 all-time against Atlanta and 3-0 on Thrasher ice.

CAROLINA NOTES:
Carolina winger Jeff O’Neill has 29 points in his last 24 games (21g, 8a), scoring goals in 15 of those games. O’Neill established a new franchise record for goals in a single month by scoring 14 goals in the month of January, including six two-goal games. Hurricanes center Rod Brind’Amour (5g, 11a) has 16 points in the last 12 games. Martin Gelinas (6g, 10a) also has 16 points in the last 12 games. Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe appeared in his 39th consecutive game Wednesday. Irbe has started 38 consecutive games.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 14-9-3
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 8-11-3-2
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 40-of-238 (16.8%)
CAROLINA SHORT-HANDED: 204-of-234 (87.2%)

ATLANTA NOTES:
The Atlanta Thrashers, who at one point this season sat atop the Southeast Division, have just one win in their last 10 games (1-7-1-1). The Thrashers are third in the division, trailing the second-place Hurricanes by nine points. Atlanta currently has the worst penalty kill in the NHL at 79.4%. Thrashers right wing Donald Audette is tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring with 58 points (24g, 34a).

ATLANTA AT HOME: 7-13-3-2
ATLANTA ON THE ROAD: 9-12-6-0
ATLANTA ON THE POWER PLAY: 37-of-248 (14.9%)
ATLANTA SHORT-HANDED: 201-of-253 (79.4%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Niclas Wallin suffered a separated shoulder during the Tampa Bay game (1/29). He will be out 2-3 weeks.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES GPGATP
10 Francis 50113243
92 O’Neill 50271542
23 Gelinas 50172037
24 Kapanen 50132235
17 Brind’Amour 4792130

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
1 Irbe472.46 21-18-6.908
35 Pelletier 00.00 0-0-0.000

ATLANTAGPGATP
28 Audette47243458
21 Ferraro51193554
15 Brunette48113142
71 Slegr5061420

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
33 Hnilicka273.219-15-2.895
1 Rhodes273.255-11-7.900

Ken Preston contributed to this report.

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