Series (Game 1 of 1)

Carolina leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, October 28th

Sharks 0

(1-5-0, 5 pts)

Hurricanes 3

(2-2-0, 8 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 28, 2003

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 00
CAR 1 2 03

Top Skaters

San Jose: N. Ekman - 3 SOG, Even

Carolina: J. Vasicek - 3 G, 4 SOG, +2

Weekes records second straight shutout

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Josef Vasicek was switched from center to left wing this season and asked by management pick up his scoring. The move has paid off for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Vasicek had a career-high three goals and Kevin Weekes recorded his second straight shutout in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Vasicek, nicknamed the Czech Condor, now has four goals and three assists in eight games. Last year, he had just 10 goals and 10 assists in an injury-riddled season.

"We put pressure on him to have a breakout year," coach Paul Maurice said of Vasicek, who is in his fourth NHL season. "I still think he's got another level to play at. He's getting some points, but I think he can be even more dominant."

Carolina is unbeaten in six straight (2-0-4) as Weekes extended his shutout streak to a career-best 165 minutes.

Weekes, who stopped 28 shots for his 15th career shutout, beat Boston 2-0 five days ago.

After scoring nine goals in their first six games, the Hurricanes' offense is also starting to produce, scoring seven over a two-game span.

Jeff O'Neill assisted on all of Vasicek's goals to match a career high. O'Neill last had three assists in a game in October 1999.

Once again, the Hurricanes outworked their opponent from the start, frustrating the Sharks, who turned to their fists in the second period to try to get even.

That planned backfired as Vasicek put Carolina up 2-0 after a pair of fights gave the Hurricanes the power play.

About four minutes later, Vasicek had his hat trick after deflecting a shot in off a centering pass from Danny Markov, who had two assists.

"Isn't that great," Vasicek said when asked about the cascade of hats that hit the ice after his third goal. "Hockey's a great game. It's my first one ever and I just have to thank the guys for it."

There were a total of six fights, including one with 10:20 left in which Wayne Primeau received 32 penalty minutes, resulting in a seven-minute Carolina power play.

"They play that style of game and if you allow it to happen then they are going to have their way with you, and if you don't, you get this kind of game," Maurice said of the combined 137 penalty minutes handed out.

"We are two teams that are not very happy about the way we're playing and our frustrations ran over," San Jose's Mike Ricci said. "Sometimes that stuff happens."

Carolina was outshot 8-0 just 13 minutes in, before O'Neill set up the game's first goal.

O'Neill broke free down the right wing, but Vesa Toskala didn't bite on his fake and swept the puck to the side with his goalie stick. O'Neill stayed with the play and his centering pass to a crowded front of the net was deflected in by Vasicek.

"We had a lot of guys spilling their guts out but there are still two or three guys who aren't willing to pay the price to win a game," coach Ron Wilson said as his club fell to 0-3-3 in its last six. "This is not Wal-Mart. There are no discounts in this league."

Game notes

Bob Boughner make his Carolina debut after missing seven games with a fractured left hand. ... Defenseman Sean Hill played all 82 games for the Hurricanes last season, but missed Tuesday night with a groin injury. ... Vincent Damphousse played in his 174th straight game, tying Jeff Friesen for third-best in Sharks history. Mike Ricci played in 228 in a row from 1997-2000. ... Defenseman Allen Rourke made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press