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10-11-2003, 06:53 AM
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Eye on the Hurricanes

Welcoming Staal to his new home

The Canes are 1-3-2 in home openers since moving to North Carolina and 1-2-1 at the RBC Center. That includes a 4-2 loss to the Devils in the first game at the arena in 1999. ... Eric Staal's father, mother and the youngest of his three brothers are planning to attend tonight's game. Staal is rooming with Erik Cole on the road. "No. 1 roomie," Staal said, trying to curry favor. ... Because the N.C. State football game is today at Carter-Finley Stadium, this morning's skate at the RBC Center is closed to the public. ... After Thursday's 3-1 opening loss to the Florida Panthers, the Canes haven't won since March 12 -- a span of 12 games and one summer.

LEADING SCORERS (2002-03): Jeff O'Neill (30-31-61), Ron Francis (22-35-57), Rod Brind'Amour (14-23-37).

PROBABLE GOALIE: Kevin Weekes (2.55, 14-24-9 in 2002-03).

Champions will be looking for a win

The Devils, the defending Stanley Cup champions, tied 3-3 with the Bruins at Boston in their opener Wednesday. The Devils, who had the 30th-ranked power play in the NHL last season, scored all three goals on the power play. Defenseman Scott Niedermayer scored twice. ... New Jersey is dressing two rookie defensemen, Paul Martin and David Hale, but Cup hero Michael Rupp is not expected to play. ... Igor Larionov, who scored for the Red Wings to end Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup finals at the RBC Center, had two assists in the Devils' opener. ... Scott Gomez led the Devils with three points against Carolina last season.

LEADING SCORERS (2002-03): Patrik Elias (28-29-57), Jamie Langenbrunner (22-33-55), Scott Gomez (13-42-55).

PROBABLE GOALIE: Martin Brodeur (2.02, 41-23-9 in 2002-03).

Fleury put up an amazing performance here in Pittsburgh at the home opener. I hope Staal plays well in his home debut.