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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

PREVIEW: HURRICANES vs. Florida Panthers

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

FLORIDA PANTHERS (33-23-4-3, 73 pts)


CAROLINA HURRICANES (25-27-9-0, 59 pts)

Thursday, February 24, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes enter Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers after tying the Washington Capitals 1-1 on Monday afternoon…The Hurricanes are in third place in the Southeast Division, trailing the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, and are seeded 10th in the Eastern Conference with 59 points…Monday’s game marks the last of four home games at the Entertainment and Sports Arena…Thursday is Jiffy Lube Cheer Card Night in which the first 15,000 fans through the gates will receive special cheer cards containing the words “Let’s Go Canes!”


Local Television: Home Team Sports (HTS)

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).

PRACTICE TIMES: The Carolina Hurricanes will skate at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m…Due to their game tonight in Washington, the Florida Panthers might not practice at their scheduled time of 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

CAROLINA/FLORIDA SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers meet Thursday for the fourth of five games this season…The two teams will square off again on Saturday night in Florida for their final meeting of the season…Carolina leads the 1999-2000 season 2-1-0…Jeff O’Neill (0g, 3a) is the Hurricanes’ leading scorer against the Panthers this season…The Hurricanes are 2-for-10 (20.0%) on the power-play in the series and are 10-for-11 (90.9%) on the penalty kill…Arturs Irbe has been in net for each of the three games against Florida this season, posting a 3.33 goals against average and a .877 save percentage…Carolina trails 10-12-6 in the all-time series and is 7-6-1 at home against Florida.

CAROLINA NOTES Ron Francis redirected a Paul Coffey pass past Olaf Kolzig in the first period to help the Carolina Hurricanes earn a 1-1 tie in an afternoon matinee game at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Monday…The goal, Francis’s 18th of the season, put Carolina up 1-0 at the 7:43 mark of the first period. Hurricanes Arturs Irbe improved his record to 8-4-1 over his last 13 games by stopping 29 shots…Entering Thursday’s game against Florida, Irbe is leading all goalies with 54 games played and ranks second in minutes with 3,132…Irbe, in his second season with the Hurricanes, ranks second in team history in goals against average (2.36), fifth in wins (49), and sixth in minutes played (6,775)…Carolina is tied for second in the league with a 90.4% penalty kill at home…Carolina ranks first in the NHL with the fewest penalty minutes (560), an average of 9.2 PIM per game…On Thursday, the Hurricanes play the third of four consecutive games against teams from within their own division, the Southeast Division, before heading west to complete a four game road trip…Carolina, who won the 1999 Southeast Division, is 8-3-3 in 14 games against the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Florida Capitals, ranking second in the division with 18 points…Carolina has posted a 5-3-1 record in February, three of their wins coming against division foes…CAROLINA AT HOME: 14-12-4 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 11-15-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 16.9% (41 for 243) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 82.3% (153 for 186).

FLORIDA NOTES: The Florida Panthers take on the Washington Capitals tonight at the MCI Center having lost three of their last five, including a 4-2 loss to Ottawa on Monday…Florida is holding on to a four-point Southeast Division lead over the Capitals…All-Star Pavel Bure notched his 42nd goal in Monday’s loss to Ottawa, moving five goals ahead of Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr for the league lead…Bure also leads the league with 10 game-winning goals on the year…At 85%, Florida’s penalty killing ranks fourth in the NHL (199 of 230)…Florida boasts an 8-4-2 record against its Southeast Division opponents but has lost two of three to the Hurricanes this year…FLORIDA AT HOME: 17-4-6 FLORIDA ON THE ROAD: 12-16-3 FLORIDA ON THE POWER PLAY: 15.0% (31 for 206) FLORIDA SHORTHANDED: 86.9% (206 for 237).


Curtis Leschyshyn has missed the Hurricanes’ last 11 games due to a groin injury…Gary Roberts has missed the Hurricanes’ last five due to a groin injury…Glen Wesley did not play against the Washington Capitals due to an eye injury…Sami Kapanen did not play against the Washington Capitals due to a shoulder injury…All four players are listed as day-to-day.

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