The Carolina Hurricanes face the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday and the Washington Capitals on Thursday in their 15th of 17 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Hurricanes currently sit two points ahead of the Boston Bruins for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Rookie forward Shane Willis, the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in February, scored a goal Sunday against Edmonton in his first game back after missing four games due to an ankle sprain. In his last six games played, Willis has seven goals and one assist. Ron Francis is just one point shy of 1,000 points with the franchise. The Canadiens and Capitals were involved in a trading deadline day deal with eachother on Wednesday, as the Canadiens sent Trevor Linden and Danius Zubrus to the Capitals in exchange for Jan Bulis and Richard Zednik.
March 14ESA10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
March 15WashingtonPG Skate
March 16Iceplex10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
March 17Iceplex11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
ON THE AIR:
Television: Wednesday: HTS/FSN; Thursday: HTS
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).
The Hurricanes’ penalty kill is ranked first in the NHL at home at 88.9%. The Hurricanes are 264-of-305 (86.6%) overall on the penalty kill this season, ranked third in the NHL. Carolina center Rod Brind’Amour has 34 points (12g, 22a) in the last 30 games and is third among all Hurricanes with 48 points (16g, 32a). Brind’Amour ranks second among all Hurricanes in assists (32) and has registered 10 multi-point games since Jan. 7. Brind’Amour was ranked second in the NHL in face-off percentage (min. 20 games) through March 11 at 60.2%.
HURRICANES VS. MONTREAL NOTES:
The Hurricanes and Canadiens have split a pair of meetings this season, with each team winning once at Molson Centre in Montreal. The Canadiens defeated the Hurricanes 5-2 on Oct. 21, 1999; and the Hurricanes returned the favor on Jan. 16 with a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory. Josef Vasicek, whose extra-attacker goal sent the game to overtime on Jan. 16, leads all Hurricanes scorers with three points this season against Montreal (1g, 2a). The Canadiens won the four-game series against the Hurricanes last season 3-1-0, with the Hurricanes’ lone victory coming by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 24, 2000. Carolina is 44-79-16 all-time against Montreal, including a 28-33-9 at home and a 16-46-7 record at Montreal.
HURRICANES AT WASHINGTON NOTES:
The Hurricanes travel to Washington to take on the Southeast Division-leading Capitals on Thursday for the third of five games this season. The Capitals currently lead the second-place Hurricanes by 15 points. The two teams battled to a 3-3 tie in Carolina’s regular season opener on Oct. 7, and the Capitals defeated the Hurricanes 2-1 on Feb. 24. The Capitals won last year’s season series with the Hurricanes 2-1-2, with the Hurricanes’ lone win coming on November 7, 1999 by a score of 3-2 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The Hurricanes are 24-42-10 all-time against the Capitals, including a 13-19-7 at home and 11-23-3 on the road.
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Glen Wesley suffered a broken jaw and a severe facial laceration at Chicago on March 4. He is on the Injured Reserve List.
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
10 Francis 68134053
92 O’Neill 68331952
17 Brind’Amour 65163248
23 Gelinas 65202747
1 Irbe 63 2.43 29-24-8.910
31 Moss 11 3.84 1-6-0.853