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PREVIEW: HURRICANES at Pittsburgh Penguins

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

CAROLINA HURRICANES (35-34-10-0, 80 pts)

At

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (34-36-8-6, 82 pts)

Monday, April 3, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Hurricanes head into Pittsburgh riding a season-best three-game winning streak with wins over Nashville, Buffalo, and Philadelphia…Carolina is 4-1-0 in its last five games and has posted wins in its last two road games, including a 3-1 win over Buffalo (3/31) and a 5-0 win at New Jersey (3/21)…Carolina is 3-2-0 in its last five road games and have allowed just one goal in its last two road games…Carolina is currently in third place in the Southeast Division and is eighth in the Eastern Conference with 80 points…Tonight’s game is the Hurricanes’ sixth game in nine days (4-1-0)…With a win tonight, Carolina will move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference…Arturs Irbe will match the franchise record for consecutive starts (22) set by Greg Millen (1985) and Sean Burke (1996) by starting against the Penguins…Irbe has already established franchise best for starts and wins…After tonight, the Hurricanes have a weekend showdown with the Thrashers, traveling to Atlanta for a Saturday game and returning home on Sunday…Carolina is just six points shy of matching its point total of 86 in the 1998-99 season when the Hurricanes captured the Southeast Division Title…With the victory over Philadelphia, Carolina climbed over the .500 mark for the first time since December 18, 1999 when the Hurricanes improved to 13-12-7 with a 4-2 win over Atlanta at the Entertainment and Sports Arena…The most Carolina has been over .500 this season is three games which occurred three times during late November and early December…The most Carolina has been under .500 was five games on January 20, 2000, when the team was 17-22-8 and had lost a season-high five consecutive games.

ON THE AIR:

Local Television: Home Team Sports (HTS), FOX Sports Net South

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/PITTSBURGH SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight for the fourth and final time during the 1999-2000 regular season…Carolina leads the season series, 2-1-0 with a win at home and a win on the road…The Hurricanes have not beaten the Penguins three times in a single season since the Hartford Whalers swept the 1986-87 season series, 3-0-0…Carolina trails in the overall series by a 30-39-8 margin, including a 12-20-5 mark on the road…Sami Kapanen (3g, 1a), Bates Battaglia (2g, 2a), and Ron Francis (1g, 3a) lead the Hurricanes with four points in the 1999-2000 regular season series against the Penguins…Hurricanes netminder Arturs Irbe has totaled a 2-1-0 record with a 3.35 goals against average and a .853 save percentage in the previous three games…Carolina is 4-for-13 (30.8%) on the power-play and 11-for-13 (84.6%) on the penalty-kill.

CAROLINA NOTES: The Hurricanes return home after tonight’s game to prepare for a season-ending showdown with Atlanta…With the Hurricanes’ next win, Head Coach Paul Maurice will surpass Jack Evans for the most wins in franchise history by a head coach…Against the Montreal Canadiens on February 17th, Maurice surpassed Evans (374) for most games as head coach in franchise history…Hired on November 6, 1995, Maurice has compiled a 163-177-55 record in 395 games…Maurice is the youngest coach in the National Hockey League and is behind only Scotty Bowman (Detroit Red Wings) in current tenure with the same club…Carolina is 10-9-0 against teams from the Atlantic Division…Carolina is 16-18-5 on the road this season and have won their past two road games…Carolina has allowed just one goal in its past two road games…During the 1999-2000 season, Carolina is 13-17-3 in back to back games with a 7-8-2 record in the first game and a 6-9-1 record in the second game…CAROLINA AT HOME: 19-16-5 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 16-18-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 16.8% (10th NHL) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 83.9% (15th NHL).

PITTSBURGH NOTES: The Penguins currently hold the seventh position in the Eastern Conference with 82 points…Pittsburgh lost its last game, 3-2, against Philadelphia…The Penguins are 3-2-0 in their last five games and 6-4-0 in their last 10 contests…Pittsburgh is 6-3-0 since the March 14 trade deadline that saw the Penguins add six players to its roster…PITTSBURGH AT HOME: 22-11-7 PITTSBURGH ON THE ROAD: 12-25-1 PITTSBURGH ON THE POWER PLAY: 15.5% (20th NHL) PITTSBURGH SHORTHANDED: 82.1% (21st NHL).

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE: Sami Kapanen did not play in the Hurricanes’ last three games due to post-concussion syndrome…He is day-to-day…Dave Karpa has not played the last two games due to a bruised foot…He is day-to-day…Curtis Leschyshyn is day-to-day with a groin injury after missing the Hurricanes’ last eight games.

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