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PREVIEW: HURRICANES vs. TAMPA BAY

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (12-18-5-2, 31 pts.)


AT
CAROLINA HURRICANES (14-16-4-2, 34 pts.)
Wednesday, January 3, 2001 at 7:00 p.m.

GAME NIGHT:
The Carolina Hurricanes attempt to win their fourth consecutive home game as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Carolina winger Jeff O’Neill, has 10 points in his last 10 games and has found the net in seven of those games (12/9-12/31; 7g, 3a). Hurricanes winger Sami Kapanen has scored 12 points (7g, 5a) in the last 13 games.

PRACTICE TIMES:
Jan. 3WednesdayESA10:30 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 4ThursdayESA11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Jan. 5FridayESA10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 6SaturdayESA10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 7SundayESA10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Jan. 8MondayESA11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Jan. 9TuesdayESA10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 10WednesdayIceplex10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

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 / TAMPA SERIES:
The Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet for the third of five times this season on Wednesday night. The teams have split a pair of match-ups so far this season, with each team winning at home. The Hurricanes defeated the Lightning 6-5 in overtime on October 31; the Lightning returned the favor with a 3-2 win against Carolina on December 26. The Hurricanes won last season’s series against Tampa Bay 3-1-1 and lead the all-time series against the Lightning 18-10-6 including a 12-2-3 mark at home.

CAROLINA NOTES:
Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe appeared in his 25th consecutive game Friday night, breaking the franchise record he set during the 1999-2000 season. Irbe has started 24 consecutive games. The Carolina penalty kill is tops in the Eastern Conference at 146-169 (86.4%)…The penalty kill is 61-68 (89.7%) at home—the third-best home penalty kill in the NHL through January 1—and 78-92 (84.8%) on the road.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 8-5-2
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 6-11-2-2
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 26-173 (15.0%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 146-169 (86.4%)

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING NOTES:
Lightning rookie Brad Richards has continued to take a charge at the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Richards, who had a goal and an assist in Tampa Bay’s 3-2 win over Carolina on December 26, leads all NHL rookies in points (32), goals (12), assists (20), power play assists (10), power play points (15), and shooting percentage (19.4%)…Tampa Bay has the worst road record in the NHL at 3-12-2-2.

TAMPA BAY AT HOME: 9-6-3-0
TAMPA BAY ON THE ROAD: 3-12-2-2
TAMPA BAY ON THE POWER PLAY: 29-202 (14.4%)
TAMPA BAY SHORTHANDED: 154-188 (81.9%)

CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
Shane Willis missed the Hurricanes game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday due to back spasms. He is day-to-day.
Rod Brind’Amour suffered a groin injury during the second period of the game against the Rangers (12/27). He is expected to be out one-to-two weeks.
Sandis Ozolinsh missed Carolina’s game against Chicago due to a knee injury and is listed as day-to-day.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

HURRICANES GPGATP
10 Francis 36 62127
24 Kapanen 36111425
92 O’Neill 36131023
23 Gelinas 36101020

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
1 Irbe 33 2.41 13-14-4.908
31 Moss 7 4.22 1-4-0.853

TAMPA BAYGPGATP
4 Lecavalier37141832
19 Richards37122032
33 Modin36191231

GOALIESGPGAAW-L-TSV%
35 Kochan72.080-1-0.933
39 Cloutier163.202-7-3.899
80 Weekes273.4010-12-2.898

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