GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins face off for the second time this season, Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. On October 18, in Pittsburgh, Ron Francis decided the teamsâ€™ first contest, scoring the game-winner against his former team. The Hurricanes defeated the Penguins that night, 3-2 and earned their first road victory of the season. Francis (1g, 5a) and Hurricane defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh (0g, 5a) each carry five game points streaks into Wednesdayâ€™s contest. Pittsburgh enters Wednesday nightâ€™s game on a relative hot streak having posted a 5-1-1-1 record in their last eight games, including a 3-0 mark at home during that stretch.
PRACTICE TIMES: November 22 â€“ 11:30 a.m. â€“ 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh; November 23 â€“ 1:00 p.m. â€“ 3:00 p.m. @ Boston; November 24 - none
ON THE AIR:
Local Television: HTS / FOX SPORTS NET
Radio: WCHL-1360 AM (Chapel Hill); WTRP-620 AM (La Grange, Ga.); 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); WSJS 600-AM (Winston-Salem).
CAROLINA / PITTSBURGH SERIES: The Hurricanes defeated the Penguins in the teamsâ€™ first match up of the season on October 18 in Pittsburgh. On that night, Ron Francis played in his 1,412th NHL game and moved into 10th place on the NHL's all-time game played list, was named to Pittsburghâ€™s All-Millennium team and scored the game-winner against his former team. Last season, the teams met four times and split the series, 2-2. Pittsburghâ€™s Jaromir Jagr led all scorers in the series with eight points (4g, 4a).
CAROLINA NOTES: In their last five games, Carolinaâ€™s penalty killers have stopped 23 of 23 power plays. At home, the Carolina Hurricanes have allowed opponents only three power play goals in 42 attempts. The Hurricanesâ€™ penalty kill ranks second in the NHL at home and 11th overall. Hurricanes Ron Francis (1g, 5a) and Sandis Ozolinsh (0g, 5a) each carry five game points streaks into Wednesdayâ€™s game. Carolina rookie forward Shane Willis is tied for first place among all NHL rookies in goals (7), power play goals (4) and game-winning goals (2) and ranks tied for second among NHL rookies in points (14).
CAROLINA AT HOME: 4-3-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 2-6-1-1
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 15.5% (15 for 97)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 85.5% (71 for 83)
PITTSBURGH NOTES: Despite reported spats between playersâ€”most notably team captain Jaromir Jagrâ€”and Penguins head coach Ivan Hlinka, Pittsburgh has found ways to win. The Penguins have gone 5-1-1-1 in their last eight games, including a three-game home winning streak. Pittsburghâ€™s special teams have added to their recent successes as well. Through November 20, the Penguins power play ranked third-best in the NHL behind New Jersey and the New York Rangers.
PITTSBURGH AT HOME: 6-4-0
PITTSBURGH ON THE ROAD: 4-2-2-1
PITTSBURGH ON THE POWER PLAY: 22.8% (21 for 92)
PITTSBURGH SHORTHANDED: 86.7% (85 for 98)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE: Carolina forward Rob DiMaio left the November 15 game vs. Florida and missed the Hurricanesâ€™ November 16 and November 18 games due to back spasms. The injury also caused DiMaio to miss the November 4 game at San Jose. He is probable for Wednesdayâ€™s game.
Carolina defenseman Kevin Hatcher suffered a broken hand during the Hurricanes' game at Ottawa on November 16 and will be out approximately two weeks.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS