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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, November 17th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (8-11-1) at Carolina Hurricanes (11-6-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season when they host the Florida Panthers at RBC Center.

The Hurricanes are coming off consecutive losses to Tampa Bay and Atlanta. The Lightning pounded Carolina, 6-1, in Tampa on Wednesday and the Thrashers blanked the 'Canes on their home ice Friday. Johan Hedberg posted 31 saves to record his 11th career shutout as the Thrashers defeated Carolina, 3-0.

Cam Ward made 22 saves for the Hurricanes, who haven't dropped three games in a row since March 27-30 of last season.

Tonight's test marks the second portion of a four-game homestand for Carolina, which is 5-3-1 as the host club this season. The Hurricanes will also welcome Philadelphia and Tampa Bay during the residency.

Meanwhile, the Panthers ended a four-game slide Thursday evening, as they defeated the visiting Washington Capitals in a close one. Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves and Kamil Kreps scored what proved to be the game-winning goal and Florida edged the Caps, 2-1, at BankAtlantic Center.

Richard Zednik returned from a two-game absence and also tallied for the Panthers. Zednik had been out with the flu, while defenseman Bryan Allen returned after missing four straight games due to a concussion.

Florida avoided losing five games in a row for the first time since a 12-game slide from October 27 to November 23, 2005.

Tonight the Panthers will begin a three-game road trip. Florida, which is just 2-7-1 as the visiting team this year, will also stop in Washington and Columbus during this swing.

The Hurricanes have won two of their three games against Florida this season and nine of the last 10 encounters overall.

The Panthers are also 0-12-1 (1 tie) in their last 13 road tests against Carolina. In fact, Florida hasn't won in Raleigh since posting a 2-0 win on December 6, 2002.

11/17 10:35:18 ET


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