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PREVIEW: HURRICANES vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (7-10-3, 20 pts)

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CAROLINA HURRICANES (9-8-6, 24 pts)

Saturday, November 27, 1999 at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NIGHT: The Carolina Hurricanes enter tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 9-8-6 record in the team’s first 23 games of the season…Carolina is in second place in the Southeast Division, trailing the Florida Panthers by four points…The Hurricanes skated to a 3-3 tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning last night at the Ice Palace…The Hurricanes are 1-1-3 in their last five games and 4-3-3 in their last 10 games…Following tonight’s game against Pittsburgh, the Hurricanes will host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday before embarking on a four-game road trip against Colorado, St. Louis, Dallas, and Tampa Bay.

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/PITTSBURGH SERIES: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight for the second of four games this season…Carolina trails in the overall series by a 29-38-8 margin, including a 17-18-1 mark at home…The last two games in North Carolina have gone into overtime with one game ending in a tie and the other ending in a Penguins win….Carolina defeated Pittsburgh 3-2 in the last meeting of the series on October 23 at the Civic Arena…Ron Francis tallied three assists and linemates Sami Kapanen and Bates Battaglia each notched a goal and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, to end their season-opening nine game road stretch with a 4-2-3 mark. Francis earned assists on each of Carolina’s goals, including Battaglia’s game-winning goal with 2:06 remaining in the third period. Arturs Irbe responed in net, collecting 17 saves to improve his record to 3-1-3 on the season…Hurricanes rookie defenseman David Tanabe opened the team’s scoring with a power-play goal in the second period…It marked the third consecutive game in which the Hurricanes scored on the power-play (3-15, 20%).

CAROLINA NOTES Last night, Robert Kron scored the game-tying goal on the power-play in the third period and defensemen Sean Hill (1g, 1a) and Paul Coffey (0g, 2a) each totaled two points as the Carolina Hurricanes rallied twice from two-goal deficits to earn a 3-3 tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning…Goaltender Arturs Irbe posted 27 saves as the team played without centers Ron Francis and Jeff O’Neill due to injuries…Trailing 2-0 in the first period, Hill recorded his third goal of the season at the 12:51 mark with a slapshot from inside the blueline…Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Bates Battaglia deflected a Byron Ritchie shot from the right face-off circle to account for the team’s first of two power-play goals on the night…Entering tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes are 5-0-0 on games played on Saturday…Sean Hill leads the Hurricanes defensive corps in points, goals and assists and Paul Coffey has tallied a point (1g, 3a) in each of his last three games…CAROLINA AT HOME: 4-4-1 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 5-4-5 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 15.2% (14 for 92) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 84.8% (56 for 66)

PITTSBURGH NOTES: Entering tonight’s game, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in third place in the Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference with 20 points…The Penguins are 3-2-0 in their last five games and 5-5-0 in their last 10…Jaromir Jagr, who leads the NHL in scoring with 38 points, registered a natural hat trick and added an assist in the Penguins’ 5-0 win over the Ottawa Senators last night…Tom Barrasson earned the shutout in his first game back from injury…PITTSBURGH AT HOME: 5-3-2 PITTSBURGH ON THE ROAD: 2-7-1 PITTSBURGH ON THE POWER PLAY: 16.4% (12 for 73) PITTSBURGH SHORTHANDED: 79.7% (55 for 69).

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE: Ron Francis did not play last night in Tampa due to vertigo…His status is day-to-day…Jeff O’Neill has missed the Hurricanes’ last two games due to back spasms…His status is day-to-day.

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