Florida Panthers Vs. Carolina Hurricanes: Game 33 Preview

The Florida Panthers host Southeast Division rivals Carolina Hurricanes in Sunrise at 5:00 EST. The Panthers have points in six of their last seven games.

Florida will be hosting the Carolina Hurricanes at Bank Atlantic Centre tonight in the second of six meetings this season between the two clubs, and the first of three in Sunrise. Florida has a 7-2-5 home record this season while the Hurricanes are 4-9-3 away from Carolina. Florida will be playing in the third game of a four game homestand. They went to overtime before losing to the New Jersey Devils in a 3-2 shootout decision on Tuesday night. On Friday they again went to the shootout, this time against the Calgary Flames, before winning 3-2. They close out the homestand on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Hurricanes have lost nine of their last 11, and are coming off a one game homestand before starting a three game homestand against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday. 

The Panthers beat the Hurricanes the last time the two teams met, in Charlotte on November 29th. Florida had a 13-7-4 record and Carolina was 8-14-4. Shawn Matthias scored twice and Tomas Fleischmann scored his 11th of the season helping the Cats to a 3-1 victory. Jose Theodore stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win.

Panthers @ Hurricanes 11/29/11 (via NHLVideo)


In Florida's last game, the Panthers beat the Calgary Flames, 3-2 in a shootout. Sean Bergenheim scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season and Dmitry Kulikov and Stephen Weiss notched shootout goals in the win. Jose Theodore stopped 24 of 26 shots for the Panthers.

Flames @ Panthers 12/16/11 (via NHLVideo)


The Hurricanes handed the Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 loss on Thursday night, as Drayson Bowman scored two, Tuomo Ruutu scored one and Jaroslav Spacek added the game winner on the power play. Cam Ward stopped 33 of 36 shots in the victory.

Canucks @ Hurricanes 12/15/11 (via NHLVideo)




Season Series: 1-0-0
All-Time Series: 35-37-22
Game Time: 5:00 EST


Standings

Florida Panthers: 17-9-6, 40 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, fifth NHL, on pace for 103 points.

Carolina Hurricanes: 10-18-5, 25 points, fifth Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 27th NHL, on pace for 62 points.

Injuries:


Florida Panthers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Erik Gudbranson undisclosed 12/17/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Marcel Goc concussion 11/17/2011
Scottie Upshall other-excused 11/11/2011



Carolina Hurricanes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jay Harrison concussion 12/16/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brian Boucher other-excused 12/04/2011



Goaltenders:

Jose Theodore (12-6-4) will get the start in goal for the Panthers tonight. Cam Ward (10-13-4) is Carolina's probable starter.

Forwards:

1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg

2. Bergenheim - Matthias - Kopecky

3. Sturm - Santorelli -Bradley

4. Barch - Rallo - Samuelsson

Defense:

1. Campbell - Garrison

2. Jovanovski - Ellerby

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 skates in his 285th Florida game tonight, moving him past Bryan Allen  into 19th place. His 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 25 as a Panther, moving him into a tie with Mike Van Ryn in 44th place all-time. 

Shawn Matthias' next goal will give him 21, moving him into a tie for 47th with Brett McLean.

Dmitry Kulikov's next assist will give him 51 for his career, moving him past Niklas Hagman into 38th place.  One more point for Kulikov will give him 63, moving him past Dave Gagner into 47th place.

Stephen Weiss is tied for second all-time with 229 assists, with Robert Svehla. Three more will move him past Olli Jokinen into first all-time.


Team Leaders:

Goals:

Kris Versteeg - 15

Tomas Fleischmann - 12

Stephen Weiss -11

Assists:

Brian Campbell -22

Stephen Weiss -20

Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg - 18

Points:

Kris Versteeg - 33

Stephen Weiss -31

Tomas Fleischmann - 30

Plus/Minus:

Stephen Weiss - plus-18

Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg  - plus-17

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