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PREVIEW: HURRICANES vs. Nashville Predators

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

NASHVILLE PREDATORS (26-43-7-7, 66 pts)

AT

CAROLINA HURRICANES (32-34-10-0, 74 pts)

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes host the Nashville Predators in the final game of a four-game homestand at the Entertainment and Sports Arena…Carolina is currently in third place in the Southeast Division and is 10th in the Eastern Conference with 74 points…The Hurricanes are three points behind the Buffalo Sabres for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Conference…The Hurricanes are 2-3-0 in their last five games and 4-5-1 in their last 10 after losing 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night…Among one of six teams aiming to claim the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes have seven games remaining on their 1999-2000 regular season schedule…Carolina has three games remaining at home and three games on the road…Of their remaining schedule, five games will be against teams with below .500 records…Including Wednesday’s game, Carolina is 6-4-0 this season against their remaining opponents.

ON THE AIR:

Local Television: None

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/NASHVILLE SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators conclude their 1999-2000 two-game series Wednesday at the Entertainment and Sports Arena…Nashville leads the 1999-2000 series 1-0-0 and the overall series 2-1-0 after posting a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on December 28, 1999…The two teams split their season series last year 1-1-0, with each team winning at home.

CAROLINA NOTES: In Carolina’s last game against the Sabres on Monday night, Gary Roberts scored his team-best 11th power-play goal of the season with Ron Francis and Paul Coffey earning assists as the Carolina Hurricanes lost 5-1 at home…Roberts, who is the team’s third-leading scorer this season despite missing 13 games due to injury, has totaled nine goals over his last 12 games…The loss pushed the Hurricanes three points behind the Sabres for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the seventh position…Against Buffalo, Carolina was 1-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill… Carolina’s power-play ranks eighth in the NHL with a 55-for-315 (17.5%) rate and is 14-for-64 (21.8%) over its last 13 games…Last season the team totaled 42 power-play goals in 82 games…Francis, who leads the team with 28 power-play points, ranks tied for fifth in the league with 21 assists on the power-play…Roberts’ 11 power-play goals is 11th best in the NHL…Arturs Irbe, who has established franchise records this season in games played and minutes, leads all NHL goaltenders in games played (69), is third in minutes (3,986) and is tied for sixth in wins (29)…Irbe established career-highs in games (74), minutes (4,412) and wins (30) while playing for the San Jose Sharks during the 1993-94 season…CAROLINA AT HOME: 17-16-5 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 15-18-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 17.5% (8th NHL) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 83.2% (17th NHL).

NASHVILLE PREDATORS NOTES: The Nashville Predators make their first appearance at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Wednesday night…Nashville hosts the New York Islanders on Tuesday night…The Predators enter their game against the Islanders on a three-game losing streak…Nashville is unbeaten in its last three games on the road (2-0-1)…The Predators are two wins shy of matching their win total of 28 established during their inaugural season last year…Veteran forward Cliff Ronning leads Nashville in goals, assists, and points…NASHVILLE AT HOME: 13-22-3 NASHVILLE ON THE ROAD: 13-21-4 NASHVILLE ON THE POWER PLAY: 14.2% (24th NHL) NASHVILLE SHORTHANDED: 85.3% (12th NHL).

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:

Curtis Leschyshyn is day-to-day with a groin injury after missing the Hurricanes’ last five games…Paul Ranheim is day-to-day with a sore back after the team’s last two games.

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