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Thursday, March 6th (All times eastern)

Minnesota Wild (37-25-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (35-29-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The surging Carolina Hurricanes will aim for their sixth victory in seven games when they welcome the Minnesota Wild for an interconference battle at the RBC Center.

Despite winning two in a row and five of their last six games, the Hurricanes are still locked into a battle for first place in the Southeast Division. Carolina has 75 points and is just three ahead of Washington for the division lead and the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina's latest victory came Wednesday evening in Atlanta. as Eric Staal posted two goals and an assist to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-3 triumph at Philips Arena.

Scott Walker and Erik Cole each registered a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who have also won eight of their last 11 contests. Frantisek Kaberle collected three assists, while Cam Ward, making his seventh straight start, stopped 21 shots.

Winger Ray Whitney, who is second on Carolina with 59 points this year, has missed the last two games with a groin injury and is questionable for this evening's contest.

Carolina is playing the first of two straight at home tonight and will also welcome Buffalo on Saturday. The Hurricanes are 19-12-3 as the host this year and have won four of five and eight of their last 10 in Raleigh.

Minnesota, meanwhile, has 79 points on the year and is tied with Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division. The Wild are currently holding onto the third seed in the Western Conference because they have more wins than the Flames.

The Wild had won three straight games before dropping a decision to visiting Chicago on Tuesday. Jason Williams had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks doubled up Minnesota, 4-2, at Xcel Energy Center.

Pavol Demitra and Stephane Veilleux each scored a goal for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 30 shots in the loss.

Marian Gaborik notched an assist in the loss and has one goal and three helpers in Minnesota's last four games. Gaborik leads the Wild in goals (34) and points (67) this season.

The Wild are playing the first of two straight on the road tonight and will visit Atlanta on Friday. Minnesota is 18-14-2 as the visitors this year and has won six of its last nine away from St. Paul.

Carolina is 3-2 with two ties in the seven all-time meetings against the Wild. Minnesota has also been handed defeats in its only two trips to Raleigh, but the Wild haven't played in Carolina since dropping a 1-0 decision on March 7, 2003.

03/06 10:27:34 ET


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