February 25, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Kris Versteeg (32) carries the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC center. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

Florida Panthers 2, Carolina Hurricanes 0, Final

Jose Theodore earned his 33rd career shutout against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes this afternoon.

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Florida Panthers 2, Carolina Hurricanes 0, Final

Krys Barch and Tyson Strachan were the healthy scratches for Florida tonight, while Dmitry Kulikov, Kris Versteeg, Matt Bradley, Jack Skille and Scotty Upshall remain on the shelf with various ailments.

First Period: The Hurricanes dodged a bullet four minutes into the contest when Stephen Weiss, Sean Bergenheim, Keaton Ellerby and Mike Santorelli all got a shot on goal within a minute of each other. Cam Ward was the saving grace for the Hurricanes early, making saves both easy and difficult.

Through the first half of the period, the Panthers outshot the Hurricanes 10 shots to two, outhustling Carolina with crisp passing and timely takeaways.

At the 11 minute mark, John Madden fed the puck right through Cam Ward's goal mouth but there was no one there to capitalize on the great feed.

The teams traded chances for the rest of the period, with the majority of the action happening in the Carolina zone, but neither team could get on the board before the 20 minutes was up.

Second Period:

Just over three minutes into the period, Tomas Fleischmann got the cats on the board after shoveling a good feed from Stephen Weiss past Cam Ward to put the Cats up 1-0. Wojtek Wolski also collected an assist on the play. With the 22nd goal of the season, Fleischmann is now tied with Kris Versteeg for the team lead.

At the 4:36 mark, a penalty was called on Keaton Ellerby for interfering with Jussi Jokinen, who was also penalized for embellishing the interference. The result was four-on-four hockey for the next two minutes.

At the 8:31 mark, Erik Gudbranson was called for tripping Brandon Sutter, giving the Hurricanes their first power play of the night. Florida kept the Canes on their heels by timely clearing the puck out, and even got a shorthanded opportunity on a rush by Sean Bergenheim and John Madden.

Jussi Jokinen had two good chances to score on Jose Theodore with four minutes remaining in the period, one a point blank shot, but Theodore was equal to the task, and for the time being retained his shutout bid.

With just under a minute left in the period, Eric Staal was called for tripping Sean Bergenheim, giving the Panthers their first power play of the night. After getting two quick shots, the Panthers allowed an odd man rush to the Canes, who were stymied by Theodore as the period ended.

Third Period:

Florida opened the final regulation period on the power play, but despite a pretty good shot by Brian Campbell couldn't extend the lead.

Carolina would again go a man up with 15 minutes left in the period when Stephen Weiss hooked Jeff Skinner, but Carolina would not be able to get a decent threat going, and the Panthers killed the power play for the second time in the game.

Stephen Weiss and Tuomo Ruutu were called for matching slashing penalties with nine minutes remaining. For a second there, it looked like Weiss and Ruutu were about to square off, but were separated and sent to the box before getting started.

The resultant four-on-four yielded several end-to-end rushes and chances for each team. Sean Bergenheim and Mike Weaver each hit Cam Ward's best friend, the goal post, within 30-seconds of each other.

The Panthers seemed to go ahead when Jerred Smithson evidently scored with three minutes remaining, but after conferring with the review booth in Toronto, the goal was negated as it appeared that Smithson kicked the puck into the net.

The Hurricanes pulled the goalie with less than two minutes remaining, but before they could get anything going Marcel Goc doubled the Florida lead with an empty netter for his eight score of the season. Jason Garrison and Tomas Kopecky were given the assists on the play.

The game ended moments later, as Jose Theodore earned his third shutout of the year and his career 33rd. Counting last game, Theodore has stopped 67 of his last 68 shots faced.

Hits: Canes, 25-24 (Andreas Nodl, Chad LaRose and Anthony Stewart led the Hurricanes with four each, Erik Gudbranson and Jason Garrison led the Cats with five)

Blocked Shots: Tied, 13-13 (Tim Gleason and Keaton Ellerby each led their respective teams with four)

Faceoffs: Cats, 28-24 (Eric Staal went 10-of-21 in the faceoff circle, Stephen Weiss won 12-of-19 for the Cats)

Shots on goal: Canes, 34-32 (Pat Dwyer had six shots for the Canes, Stephen Weiss and Marcel Goc each had four for Florida)

Score: Panthers 2, Hurricanes 0

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Florida Panthers 1, Carolina Hurricanes 0, End Of Second Period

Just over three minutes into the period, Tomas Fleischmann got the cats on the board after shoveling a good feed from Stephen Weiss past Cam Ward to put the Cats up 1-0. Wojtek Wolski also collected an assist on the play. With the 22nd goal of the season, Fleischmann is now tied with Kris Versteeg for the team lead.

At the 4:36 mark, a penalty was called on Keaton Ellerby for interfering with Jussi Jokinen, who was also penalized for embellishing the interference. The result was four-on-four hockey for the next two minutes.

At the 8:31 mark, Erik Gudbranson was called for tripping Brandon Sutter, giving the Hurricanes their first power play of the night. Florida kept the Canes on their heels by timely clearing the puck out, and even got a shorthanded opportunity on a rush by Sean Bergenheim and John Madden.

Jussi Jokinen had two good chances to score on Jose Theodore with four minutes remaining in the period, one a point blank shot, but Theodore was equal to the task, and for the time being retained his shutout bid.

With just under a minute left in the period, Eric Staal was called for tripping Sean Bergenheim, giving the Panthers their first power play of the night. After getting two quick shots, the Panthers allowed an odd man rush to the Canes, who were stymied by Theodore as the period ended.

Hits: Carolina, 18-16 (Andreas Nodl and Anthony Stewart led the Hurricanes with four each, Erik Gudbranson led the Cats with four)

Blocked Shots: Panthers, 6-5 (Keaton Ellerby had three for the Panthers)

Faceoffs: Panthers, 17-16 (Eric Staal went six-of-13 in the faceoff circle, Stephen Weiss won seven-of-13 for the Cats)

Shots on goal: Tied, 24-24 (Pat Dwyer had five shots for the Canes, Stephen Weiss had four for Florida)

Score: Panthers 1, Hurricanes 0

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Florida Panthers 0, Carolina Hurricanes 0, End Of First Period

The Hurricanes dodged a bullet four minutes into the contest when Stephen Weiss, Sean Bergenheim, Keaton Ellerby and Mike Santorelli all got a shot on goal within a minute of each other. Cam Ward was the saving grace for the Hurricanes early, making saves both easy and difficult.

Through the first half of the period, the Panthers outshot the Hurricanes 10 shots to two, outhustling Carolina with crisp passing and timely takeaways.

At the 11 minute mark, John Madden fed the puck right through Cam Ward’s goal mouth but there was no one there to capitalize on the great feed.

The teams traded chances for the rest of the period, with the majority of the action happening in the Carolina zone, but neither team could get on the board before the 20 minutes was up.

Hits: Carolina, 10-5 (Andreas Nodl led the Hurricanes with three, Mike Weaver led the Cats with two)

Blocked Shots: Panthers, 4-3 (Keaton Ellerby had three for the Panthers)

Faceoffs: Panthers, 9-6 (Eric Staal went three-of-seven in the faceoff circle, Stephen Weiss was an impressive five-for-six for the Cats)

Shots on goal: Panthers, 14-5 (No Cane had more than one shot, Mike Santorelli and Stephen Weiss both had three for Florida)

Score: Panthers 0, Hurricanes 0

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Carolina Hurricanes Visit Florida Panthers: Injury Report And Starting Lineups

Florida Panthers:

Injury Report:


Florida Panthers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jack Skille other-excused 03/11/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Matt Bradley other-excused 02/20/2012
Scottie Upshall sports-hernia 01/25/2012
Dmitry Kulikov knee 01/22/2012

Starting Lineup:

Forwards:

20 - 57 - 26

14 - 9 - 8

82 - 18 - 16

13 - 10 - 25

Defensemen:

51 - 4

52 - 44

55 - 43

Goalie:

Jose Theodore has been confirmed as this afternoon's starter.

Carolina Hurricanes:

Injury Report:


Carolina Hurricanes Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Drayson Bowman infection 03/11/2012
Jiri Tlusty other-excused 03/11/2012

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Anthony Stewart undisclosed 03/11/2012

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Joni Pitkanen knee 11/28/2011


Starting Lineup:

Forwards:

Tuomo Ruutu - Eric Staal - Jiri Tlusty

Jussi Jokinen - Jeff Skinner - Chad LaRose

Pat Dwyer - Brandon Sutter - Andreas Nodl

Derek Joslin - Tim Brent - Anthony Stewart

Defensemen:

Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen

Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk

Jaroslav Spacek - Jamie McBain

Goalie:

Cam Ward has been confirmed as the starter between the pipes for the Canes tonight. He is 12-8-2 against the Panthers with a save percentage of .898.

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Carolina Hurricanes Visit Florida Panthers: Facts And Figures

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.

Canes defenseman Jaroslav Spacek played in 157 games for the Panthers over three seasons. He scored 15 goals and 39 assists with a plus-18 rating and 89 penalty minutes.

Panthers Milestones:

Goals: Tomas Fleischmann and Jason Garrison are tied in 49th with 21 goals. Kris Versteeg sits in 48th, with 22. Shawn Matthias moves past Mike Van Ryn into 45th with his next goal, number 26. Mike Santorelli moves into a tie for 37th with Niklas Hagman if goal number 30 happens tonight. Ed Jovanovski will tie Richard Zednik in 32nd with his 32nd goal. Two more goals for Stephen Weiss will move him into a tie for fourth with Nathan Horton, at 142.

Assists: If Brian Campbell collects an assist, it will be his 41st with Florida, moving him past Terry Carkner into 49th. Ed Jovanovski’s next assist will give him 61, moving him past Dave Lowry into 28th.

Team Leaders:

Games Played:
Mike Weaver, Brian Campbell, Tomas Fleischmann – 67

Goals:
Kris Versteeg – 22, Tomas Fleischmann – 21, Stephen Weiss – 16

Assists:
Brian Campbell – 40, Stephen Weiss – 31, Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg – 27

Points:
Kris Versteeg – 49, Tomas Fleischmann – 48, Stephen Weiss – 47, Brian Campbell – 44

Plus/Minus:
Stephen Weiss – plus-5
Jason Garrison – plus-4
Marcel Goc, Kris Versteeg, Krys Barch – plus-2

Point Shares:
Jose Theodore – 7.7
Brian Campbell – 6.9
Jason Garrison – 6.6

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Carolina Hurricanes Visit Florida Panthers: Game 68 Preview

Florida welcomes the Carolina Hurricanes to Sunrise tonight in a meeting where worst vs. first doesn't really mean very much.

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