Hurricanes Fan Appreciation Week Begins: Back-to-back Games vs. Jets and Devils

Carolina Hurricanes forwards Chad LaRose, Jeff Skinner, and Patrick Dwyer give the jerseys off their backs to fans after a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 9, 2011 (author's photo).

The Carolina Hurricanes officially kick off Fan Appreciation Week today. Over the next week the Canes will host three home games at PNC Arena, and there are plenty of activities lined up to close out the regular season with a bang. Some of the scheduled events include:

Tonight, Hurricanes versus Winnipeg Jets, 7:00 pm

  • Front lawn party starting at 5:00 pm with live band, games, inflatables, food and beverages
  • Family night with special family pricing and $1 hot dogs in the arena concessions
  • Jamie McBain bobblehead giveaway for the first 10,000 fans.

Tomorrow, March 31, Hurricanes versus New Jersey Devils, 7:00 pm

  • Front lawn party starting at 5:00 pm with live band, games, inflatables, food and beverages
  • Team poster giveaway
  • Stormy's Birthday Bash with in-arena mascot entertainment
  • "Jerseys off their backs" giveaway after the game (click here for more details about how you could win a Brandon Sutter, Tuomo Ruutu, or Brian Boucher jersey).

Sunday, April 1, Alumni Fantasy Game, 3:00 pm

  • All event proceeds benefitting the Hurricanes Kids 'N Community Foundation
  • Free admission, doors open at 2:00 pm (door donations to KNCF appreciated)
  • 10 Hurricanes alumni and 30 additional fan participants will take the ice for a full three-period contest.
  • Kirk Muller and his staff will serve as coaches. PNC Arena General Manager Dave Olsen and in-game host Ron the Ref will serve as referees.
  • There will be in-game promotions, silent auctions, and other entertainment as in a regular Canes game.
  • Player roster can be found here.
  • And if you still need more incentive to come out on Sunday to watch the game:

@MikeSundheim And yes, @TrippTracy will wear a mic in net for periodic check-ins w/ @JohnForslund during the Canes Alumni Game on Sunday

Thursday, April 5, Hurricanes versus Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 pm

  • Front lawn party starting at 5:00 pm with live band, games, inflatables, food and beverages
  • Chevy hat giveaway for the first 14,000 fans in attendance
  • Post-game center ice slap shot contest for chance to win pizza for a year from Papa Johns.

Weekend game notes and other news after the jump.

Hurricanes (31-31-15) vs. Winnipeg Jets (35-34-8)

  • This is the sixth and final matchup for the season between the two teams. Winnipeg won the first three games but the Hurricanes have won the last two, including a 4-3 win at MTS Centre on March 18th.
  • The Hurricanes are coming off a 3-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. Winnipeg was defeated by the New York Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday night.
  • In stopping all 32 shots he faced Tuesday, Cam Ward recorded his 21st career shutout and passed Artus Irbe for the Hurricanes franchise shutout record.
  • Tonight Tuomo Ruutu will play in his 300th game in a Hurricanes jersey.
  • Eric Staal is one goal shy of 250 NHL career goals.
  • Injury Report: Winnipeg forwards Nik Antropov (lower body) and Eric Fehr (upper body) are day-to-day. Forward Chris Thorburn (lower body) traveled with the team and could return to the line-up. For the Hurricanes, defensemen Jaroslav Spacek (lower body) and forward Andreas Nodl (concussion-like symptoms) are out.
  • This is an elimination game. A loss by the Hurricanes or a win by the Buffalo Sabres officially eliminates the Hurricanes from playoff contention. A win by the Jets will allow them to keep their playoff hopes alive for a little while longer, but a loss coupled with a win by the Sabres will officially eliminate the Jets from playoff contention.

Hurricanes vs. New Jersey Devils Game Notes

  • Saturday's matchup will be the fourth and final for the season between the Canes and the Devils. Both teams have won their home games in the three previous meetings, the last one a 4-2 win by the Hurricanes at PNC Arena on December 26th (highlighted by Cam Ward's first career NHL goal).
  • The Devils (44-28-6) have 94 points and are currently a solid sixth in the Eastern Conference, although they have not officially clinched a playoff spot. They can do so with either a regulation win or overtime/shootout loss against the Hurricanes.
  • The Devils travel to Raleigh having defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning last night at the Prudential Center. Six different players scored for New Jersey in the 6-4 win.
  • Winger Alexei Ponikarovsky makes his first return to PNC Arena since being traded by the Hurricanes to New Jersey on January 20th. In 49 games with the Hurricanes, Ponikarovsky had 15 points (7 goals and 8 assists) and was a minus -12. In 29 games with the Devils he has 16 points (6 goals and 10 assists) including a goal and an assist last night, and is a plus -8.
  • Devils captain (and highly-watched pending UFA) Zach Parise became just the second player in team history to record five 30-goal seasons when he scored his 30th in a loss to the Penguins on Sunday. The only other player to hold that distinction? Hurricanes assistant coach John MacLean, who posted five 30-goal campaigns between 1986-87 and 1993-94.
  • For the Devils, Henrik Tallinder (blood clot) is out of the lineup.

Other News and Notes

Both weekend games will be broadcast on the usual channels, Fox Sports Carolinas in HDTV and radio on WCMC 99.9 The Fan. Game time is 7:00 pm. We'll have the game threads open at 6:30. See you there.

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