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Preview: Hurricanes @ Columbus

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina (13-15-4-2) at Columbus (11-21-4-2) 7:30 pm EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The Carolina Hurricanes try to turn their road struggles around tonight when they visit Nationwide Arena to face the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets.

Carolina is coming off a 4-3 home win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday, but is 0-4-1-1 in its last six road games. The Hurricanes were outscored, 11-5, on an 0-3-0-1 trip that concluded with Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Martin Gelinas had a pair of power-play goals and an assist for Carolina Wednesday. He had only one goal in his previous nine games. Hurricanes center Rod Brind'Amour suffered a leg injury in Wednesday's game and is expected to miss at least one week.

Columbus has played eight of its last nine games on the road. Kevyn Adams and Espen Knutsen scored for the Blue Jackets in Wednesday's 2-2 tie with the New Jersey Devils.

Marc Denis made his first start since December 13 and had 42 saves for the Blue Jackets. He is 1-1-2 in his last four starts with each going to overtime.

Columbus is 7-10-1-1 in the Nationwide Arena and plays six of its next eight games here.

This is the first of two meetings between the teams. They play in Carolina on March 7.

posted at Dec 29 10:28 ..... Copyright © 2000 SportsTicker

GAME NIGHT:
The Carolina Hurricanes head back on the road to take on the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time ever. Carolina winger Jeff O’Neill, who played in his 400th career NHL game Wednesday night, scored a goal Wednesday night against the Rangers and has now found the net in seven of his last eight games (12/9-12/27; 7g, 2a). Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe started his 23rd consecutive game Wednesday night. The franchise record for most consecutive starts by a goaltender is 24 set by Irbe during the 1999-2000 season.

ON THE AIR:
Local Television: none

Radio: WRBZ-850 AM (Raleigh); 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 / COLUMBUS SERIES:
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets meet for the first time ever Friday night. The Hurricanes franchise has gone 23-11-4 all-time against expansion teams playing in their first season since joining the league in the 1979-80 season along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Winnipeg Jets and the Québec Nordiques. During the 1979-80 season, the then-Hartford Whalers went 5-4-3 against their three fellow expansion teams.

CAROLINA NOTES:
Hurricanes forward Jeff O’Neill has scored goals in seven of his last eight games (12/9-12/27; 7g, 2a)… O’Neill is the Hurricanes’ leading scorer on the road with 14 points (10g, 4a), ranks first on the team in goal scoring (13) and ranks third among all Carolina scorers with 22 points (13g, 9a)… The Carolina penalty kill is 57-63 (90.5%) at home-third-best home penalty kill in the NHL through December 27-and 78-92 (84.8%) on the road… Hurricane forward Martin Gelinas (2g, 1a) had his team-leading fifth multi-point night of the season against the New York Rangers on December 29 in Raleigh

CAROLINA AT HOME: 7-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 6-10-2-2 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 25-164 (15.2%) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 135-155 (87.1%)

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS NOTES:
Blue Jackets center Espen Knutsen’s franchise record of five straight games with an assist came to an end December 26 against St. Louis. The 28-year-old also had notched a point in six straight games, tying the franchise mark set by Geoff Sanderson in November. Knutsen recorded 2-7=9 in the streak.

COLUMBUS AT HOME: 7-10-1-1
COLUMBUS ON THE ROAD: 4-11-3-1 COLUMBUS ON THE POWER PLAY: 23-172 (13.4%) COLUMBUS SHORTHANDED: 138-176 (78.4%)** RANKED LAST IN THE NHL

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Shane Willis missed the Hurricanes game against the New York Rangers on Wednesday due to back spasms. He is day-to-day.Rod Brind’Amour suffered a groin injury during the second period of Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers. He is expected to be out two weeks.Sandis Ozolinsh is day-to-day with a knee injury.

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