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Carolina fires Maurice amid rough start to season

NHL.com @NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The last-place Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Paul Maurice on Monday - the second time he's been dismissed by the club.

The team announced the firing in a statement and said it would announce a new coach later in the day.

Carolina dropped to 8-13-4 this season following Sunday night's 4-3 loss at Ottawa and has lost 10 of its last 13 games, including three straight. The Hurricanes are last in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference, and begin a three-game homestand Tuesday night against division leader Florida.

Carolina ranks 28th in the league in goals allowed, giving up an average of 3.24, and has one of the worst power-play units in the NHL, scoring on just 12.2 percent of its chances with the man advantage.

Maurice, who helped shepherd the club's move from Hartford to North Carolina in the late 1990s, returned to the Hurricanes in December 2008 when Peter Laviolette was fired. He guided their run to the 2009 Eastern Conference final, the club's only playoff appearance since they won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Before that, they hadn't reached the postseason since Maurice led them to the 2002 Stanley Cup final - the highlight of his first stint with the team.

The 44-year-old Maurice received a three-year contract in 2009 that ran through this season. His combined record with the team was 384-391-145, and his career record of 460-457-167 includes two years with Toronto sandwiched by his stints with Carolina.

He was first fired by Carolina in 2003-04 following an 8-14-8-2 start.

Maurice holds the Hurricanes' career coaching record with 25 playoff victories, but none came in the previous two seasons. The 2009-10 team set a club record with a 14-game winless streak, and last year's group finished one victory shy of making the playoffs when it lost its finale on home ice.

Maurice became the second coach in his division to lose his job Monday. His firing came about 90 minutes after the Washington Capitals fired Bruce Boudreau and replaced him with Dale Hunter.

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