Hurricanes leading scorer Rod Brind'Amour will need surgery and could miss three months after tearing a tendon in his right hand.

Brind'Amour, who has 14 goals and 23 assists, was placed on injured reserve yesterday. He was hurt on a first-period faceoff in Monday night's 4-3 loss to St. Louis, although he wound up scoring in the third period.

Carolina has lost seven straight games and are 13th in the playoff race.

"This is just the way bad years go," GM Jim Rutherford said. . . .

Oilers F Georges Laraque will have right knee surgery today. He missed the team's last two games with cartilage damage in the knee.

* COACH HAS HIS TONGUE: Flames mascot Harvey the Hound lost his tongue after pushing Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish a step too far. MacTavish ripped out Harvey's tongue after the 6-foot-6, 200-pound white dog repeatedly taunted him from behind the Oilers' bench at a Flames home game, the league's official Web site reported.

The Flames won Monday's game, 4-3, but their mascot was not so lucky.

"[Harvey] was in a place he shouldn't have been," Flames spokesman Peter Hanlon said.

-- From News Services