The Hurricanes take on the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. With their 3-1 win at the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes remained in a tie with the Boston Bruins for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes own both the wins and head-to-head tiebreaker advantages over the Bruins. The Hurricanes are also within two points of the seventh-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs with two games remaining. The Hurricanes currently have more wins than the Maple Leafs, but the Leafs defeated the Hurricanes twice in three meetings this season. The Hurricanes can clinch their second playoff berth in three seasons with a win Friday night coupled with a Boston loss at New Jersey.
|EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF RACE|
|GP = Games Played W = Wins L = Losses|
T = Ties OTL = Overtime Losses
GF = Goals For GA = Goals Against PTS = Points
Teams receive two points for each win, one point for
a tie or overtime loss and no points for a loss.
PRACTICE TIMES: April 6FridayESA10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
April 7SaturdayESA11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
April 8SundayESA10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
ON THE AIR:
Local Television: None.
Radio: WRBZ-850 AM (Raleigh); WCHL-1360 AM (Chapel Hill); 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 is unbeaten in its last four games (3-0-1) and has not trailed in the last 249:25 of play, setting a season high. Ron Francis will play in his 1,488th NHL game, passing Wayne Gretzky (1,487) for seventh on the all-time games played list. Francis earned an assist on Wednesday at New York to move into a tie for third on the all-time assist list with former teammate Paul Coffey (1,135). Jeff O’Neill scored a pair of goals on Wednesday to become this first player to score 40 goals in a season for the franchise since Brendan Shanahan did it in the 1995-96 season. O’Neill has eight points (5g, 3a) in the last four games. Rod Brind’Amour played in his 900th career NHL game on Wednesday, scoring the game-winning goal for Carolina at 13:56 of the third period. Sami Kapanen has eight points (4g, 4a) in the last eight games and 15 points (6g, 9a) in the last 16 games.
CAROLINA AT HOME: 22-14-3-0 CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 15-17-6-3 CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 68-of-368 (18.5%) CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 302-of-346 (87.3%)
CAROLINA INJURY UPDATE:
The Hurricanes have no injuries to report.
CAROLINA / ATLANTA SERIES: The Hurricanes and the Thrashers face-off for the fifth and final time this season. Carolina is 3-0-1 against Atlanta, earning a 1-1 tie in the most recent meeting on Feb. 27 at Philips Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the Thrashers 6-3 on Feb. 21 in Raleigh, and knocked off Atlanta at Philips Arena 5-3 on Dec. 6 and 3-1 on Feb. 1. Shane Willis (3g, 3a) and Sandis Ozolinsh (2g, 4a) lead all scorers in the season series. The Hurricanes defeated the Thrashers in all five of the teams’ match-ups last season — the Thrashers’ inaugural season. The Hurricanes are 8-0-1-0 all-time against Atlanta, 4-0-0-0 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
The Thrashers take on the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Thursday night before flying to Carolina. Friday night’s game against the Hurricanes is the final game of the 2000-2001 season for the second-year expansion team. The Thrashers are currently in fourth place in the Southeast Division, four points behind the Florida Panthers and two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
ATLANTA AT HOME: 10-23-6-2 ATLANTA ON THE ROAD: 13-20-6-0 ATLANTA ON THE POWER PLAY: 54-of-386 (14.0%) ATLANTA SHORTHANDED: 310-of-398 (77.9%)
SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS
92 O’Neill 80402565
31 Moss123.99 1-6-0.853