NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 15th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (12-12-4) at Florida Panthers (13-15-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to snap a four-game slide in Sunrise tonight as they continue a five-game road trip versus the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
The Hurricanes dropped a 7-4 decision at Florida on Nov. 5 to lose for the sixth time in their last seven games as the visitor in this series. They did get a measure of revenge the following night with a 3-2 home victory to earn a split of the home-and-home series.
Cam Ward started both games in net for the Hurricanes and is 11-7-0 with a 3.06 goals-against average in his career versus the Panthers. He made 38 saves and stopped all three skaters he faced in a shootout to help Carolina record a 2-1 victory in St. Louis on Saturday.
Jussi Jokinen had the shootout's lone goal and it came in the third round. Brandon Sutter tallied in regulation for the Hurricanes, who snapped a two- game slide and won for just the third time in their last 10 games. Carolina also won for the first time in its last five shootouts.
"We're excited," Ward said. "We've been working extremely hard and it's been difficult at times. But we held on and came up with an important win and we feel good about it."
Carolina has still scored just 10 goals over its last games, going 0-for-20 on the power play in that span. Eric Staal has a team-leading 12 goals and 28 points on the season, but has been held without a point in a season-high four consecutive games. He had a pair of goals in the most recent meeting with Florida.
The 'Canes are 1-1-1 on a five-game road trip and have won just two of their last nine as the guest.
The Panthers also skated through a lack of offense last time out, suffering a 3-0 setback in Nashville. Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves for Florida, which was coming off a 3-0 win of its own versus Washington last Thursday and had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Vokoun is 12-8-4 with a tie and 2.71 GAA versus the Hurricanes in his career. He played just 11 minutes in the first meeting at Florida, allowing two goals on seven shots before being lifted in favor of Scott Clemmensen.
Clemmensen made 22 saves in relief to earn the win, but he have up three goals on 29 shots the next night, falling to 1-3-0 with a 3.29 GAA in his career when facing the 'Canes.
Panthers forward Stephen Weiss had two goals and an assist in the home win over Carolina and is tied for second on the club with seven goals this season. However, he has just two goals in his last 10 games.
The Panthers play their next two games at home and are 6-5-0 as the hosting club this season.
12/15 11:31:44 ET