Florida Panthers Vs. Carolina Hurricanes: Game 24 Preview

Florida Panthers travel to Carolina, face Hurricanes in first of six matchups between the two teams this season.

The Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night for the first of six contests between the rivals this season. Florida is 7-5-0 away from the Bank-Atlantic Center,  and the Hurricanes are an embarrassing 5-6-2 at home.  For Florida, this is the second game of a four game road trip.  They will continue on to play the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday before returning to Sunrise.  The Hurricanes are beginning a difficult three game homestand, as they go on to welcome the New York Rangers on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

 The teams last met in March, as Carolina handed Florida a 2-1 loss.  They were helped in large part due to (then) recent Panther Cory Stillman's efforts, as he scored one goal and assisted on another.  Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward stopped 41 of 42 shots on goal, allowing a Stephen Weiss goal in the second period, assists by David Booth and Jason Garrison.  Scott Clemmensen took the loss for the Cats, stopping 20 of 22 shots.

Panthers @ Hurricanes 3/1/11 (via NHLVideo)


Tampa Bay handed Florida its second loss in as many nights, 5-1 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday.  Panthers goaltender of the future Jacob Markstrom allowed five goals on 34 shots.  Bolts counterpart Mathieu Garon was solid in goal, allowing only a garbage time goal to Shawn Matthias with two minutes remaining in the third period and stopping 24 of 25 shots.  Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Lightning, with Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Tom Pyatt also netting goals.

 

Panthers @ Lightning 11/26/11 (via NHLVideo)


Sens goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 34 of 37 shots, as Jason Spezza scored twice to lead Ottawa.  Cam Ward took the loss for the Canes, allowing four goals on 25 shots on the night.  Patrick Dwyer, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Eric Staal scored for Carolina as the Senators took the decision, 4-3.

 

Hurricanes @ Senators 11/27/11 (via NHLVideo)


Mikael Samuelsson is currently on the injured reserve, having yet to skate with Florida. Scottie Upshall and Matt Bradley are also still out of commission. Marcel Goc should see ice time against the Hurricanes.  Scott Clemmensen is now listed as "available."  The Panthers have been keeping Evgeni Dadonov and Tim Kennedy on the active roster, having yesterday sent forward Michel Repik and goalie Jacob Markstrom back to the San Antonio Rampage. 

Probable Starters

Goaltenders:

Jose Theodore (9-4-3) will likely make the start for Florida.  Cam Ward (8-10-3) is the leading candidate for starting in the crease for Carolina

Forwards:

1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg

2. Bergenheim - Kopecky - Goc

3. Santorelli - Sturm - Skille

Dadonov, Matthias, as needed

Defense:

1. Campbell - Garrison

2. Jovanovski - Ellerby/Gudbranson

3. Kulikov - Weaver

Common Thread:

Hurricanes winger Anthony Stewart played parts of four seasons with the Panthers, appearing in 105 games from 2005-06 through 2008-09.  He scored four goals and eight assists with a minus-four rating and 38 penalty minutes.

Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen played in parts of five seasons for the Cats.  He appeared in 284 games, scoring 14 goals and 53 assists with a plus-one and 341 penalty minutes.

Team Milestones:

Ed Jovanovski's next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. His next assist will give him 58 with the Panthers, tying him with Paul Laus, in 30th.

Mike Santorelli's next goal will be number 24 as a Panther, moving him into a tie with Dave Gagner in 45th place all-time.

Dmitry Kulikov's next assist will give him 48 for his career, moving him into a tie for 39th with Keith Ballard.  Two more points for Kulikov will move him into the Panthers All-Time Top 50.

Team Leaders:

Goals:

Kris Versteeg - 12

Tomas Fleischmann - 10

Stephen Weiss, Jason Garrison - 8

Assists:

Brian Campbell - 17

Dmitry Kulikov, Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg - 14

Points:

Kris Versteeg - 26

Tomas Fleischmann - 23

Stephen Weiss - 22

Plus/Minus:

Tomas Fleischmann - plus-14

Stephen Weiss - plus-13

Kris Versteeg - plus-12

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