NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 8th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (21-15-5) at Florida Panthers (18-16-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The rolling Carolina Hurricanes will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season tonight when they visit the Florida Panthers for a Southeast Division battle at BankAtlantic Center.
The Hurricanes have won four straight and eight of their last 11 games. Carolina is second in the Southeast with 47 points, but is still 10 points behind Washington for the division lead.
Carolina's latest victory came Tuesday night against the visiting New Jersey Devils. Cam Ward made 25 saves and Tuomo Ruutu netted the game-winner, as the Hurricanes fended off the Devils, 3-2, at the RBC Center.
Ray Whitney and Sergei Samsonov also scored for the Hurricanes, who have also earned points in 12 of their last 15 outings. Carolina is 9-4-3 since Paul Maurice took over as head coach for the fired Peter Laviolette.
Tonight's test marks the first of three straight on the road for the Hurricanes, who are 9-6-4 as the visiting team this season. Carolina has won two straight and three of its last four road tests.
The Panthers have won two of their last three games on the heels of a four- game slide. Florida's most recent triumph came Tuesday night in Toronto, as Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves to help the Panthers notch the 4-2 decision at Air Canada Centre.
Stephen Weiss, Gregory Campbell and Ville Peltonen each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Michael Frolik also lit the lamp in the win.
David Booth added an assist to extend his point streak to six games and has recorded four goals and five helpers during the run. Booth is tied with Calgary's Daymond Langkow for the longest current point streaks in the NHL.
The Panthers are 8-5-3 as the host this year and are kicking off a three-game homestand tonight. Florida has dropped two straight and three of its last five tests on home ice.
Carolina has taken two of three matchups with the Panthers this year and has won four of six and seven of the last 10 encounters overall. However, the Hurricanes have dropped two of three and three of their last five stops in Sunrise.
01/08 10:53:27 ET