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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

PREVIEW: HURRICANES at Florida Panthers

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

CAROLINA HURRICANES (25-28-9-0, 59 pts)

at

FLORIDA PANTHERS (34-23-4-3, 75 pts)

Saturday, February 26, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes enter Saturday night’s game against the Florida Panthers after completing a four-game homestand on Thursday night…The Hurricanes are in third place in the Southeast Division, trailing the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, and are seeded 11th in the Eastern Conference with 59 points…Saturday’s game marks the first of four consecutive games on the road for the Hurricanes.

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/FLORIDA SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers meet Saturday for the final time during the 1999-2000 regular season…The 1999-2000 season is tied 2-2-0…Jeff O’Neill (1g, 4a) is the Hurricanes’ leading scorer against the Panthers this season…Ron Francis (2g, 0a), Tommy Westlund (2g, 0a), and Paul Coffey (2g, 1a) lead Carolina in goals against Florida this year…The Hurricanes are 2-for-14 (14.3%) on the power-play in the series and are 11-for-12 (91.7%) on the penalty kill…Arturs Irbe has been in net for all four games against Florida this season, posting a 3.26 goals against average and a .879 save percentage….Carolina trails 10-13-6 in the all-time series and is 3-6-5 at Florida.

CAROLINA NOTES Following the Hurricanes 4-2 home loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, the team is in a five-team race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference…Carolina trails the seventh-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins by five points and the eight-seeded New York Rangers by three points…The Hurricanes, who begin a four-game road trip on Saturday night, have 20 games remaining in the regular season including 10 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena…Forward Jeff O’Neill posted his 10th multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist against the Florida Panthers on Thursday…O’Neill leads the team with six game-winning goals and is second in goals (17), assists (31), and points (48)…O’Neill, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Wednesday, has already eclipsed his career highs in points and assists this season and is two goals shy of matching his career-best in goals…Future Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey continued his strong play with his sixth goal of the season on Wednesday night…Coffey, who is the league’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen, is the Hurricanes’ top scorer among blueliners this season with 29 points and 23 assists…Coffey, 38, ranks third on the team in average ice time per game (22:17) and is currently on a three-game point streak (1g, 2a)…Defenseman Sean Hill leads the team in ice time (24:20) and despite missing 18 games due to a groin injury, ranks 10th in the league in hits (191)…Center Rod Brind’Amour ranks sixth in the league with a 57.7 winning percentage on face-offs.…CAROLINA AT HOME: 14-13-4 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 11-15-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 16.6% (41 for 247) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 82.4% (154 for 187).

FLORIDA NOTES: The Florida Panthers are currently in first place in the Southeast Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference with 76 points…The Panthers own a five-point advantage over the Washington Capitals in the race for the Southeast Division Championship…Panthers goaltender Trevor Kidd made his return from shoulder injury in the team’s 3-2 overtime loss at Washington on Wednesday…Pavel Bure, the league’s leading goal scorer, was held to only one shot in the team’s 4- 2 win in Carolina on Thursday…FLORIDA AT HOME: 17-4-6 FLORIDA ON THE ROAD: 13-16-3 FLORIDA ON THE POWER PLAY: 17.1% (42 for 246) FLORIDA SHORTHANDED: 86.6% (207 for 239).

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:

Curtis Leschyshyn has missed the Hurricanes’ last 12 games due to a groin injury…Gary Roberts has missed the Hurricanes’ last six due to a groin injury…Sami Kapanen has missed the last two games due to a shoulder injury…All three players are listed as day-to-day.

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