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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, January 7th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (18-15-6) at Florida Panthers (18-18-2), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of Southeast Division foes will meet for the second time this week, as the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Florida Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers visited Raleigh on Monday night and were able to claim an overtime victory against the Hurricanes. It marked the fourth time the Panthers and Carolina have met this season and Florida's recent win evened the season series at two games apiece.

Despite Monday's loss, Carolina has still taken two of three and four of the last seven overall meetings against the Panthers. However, Florida has claimed victory in six of its last eight home tilts against the 'Canes.

Carolina and Florida enter tonight as the fourth and fifth-place teams, respectively, in the Southeast Division. With 38 points, the Panthers are four behind the Hurricanes in the standings.

Bryan Allen scored 1:16 into overtime to give the Florida the 4-3 win over Carolina at the RBC Center. Cory Stillman had a goal and an assist while Dennis Wideman and Chris Higgins each lit the lamp for the Panthers.

Scott Clemmensen stopped 34 shots to help Florida gain the full two points.

Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Jay Harrison each had a goal for the Hurricanes, and Cam Ward was tagged with all four goals on 28 shots in the loss.

Tonight's test is not a home-and-home series, however, as both clubs have played other teams since Monday's clash. Carolina earned a point in its overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday and the Panthers were dealt a regulation loss the same night against Atlanta.

The Hurricanes suffered a 2-1 loss in New York after rookie Mats Zuccarello scored his first NHL goal with 1:51 remaining in overtime for the Rangers.

Eric Staal tied the game with 6:14 left in regulation for the Hurricanes, while Ward stopped 33 shots.

"It was a competitive game ... both teams played extremely hard," Staal said.

For Carolina, it marked the club's fifth straight game with a point. The setback did drop the Hurricanes to 10-8-4 as the visiting team this season.

The Hurricanes played their fourth straight game on Wednesday without forward Jussi Jokinen (upper body) and defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body). Both players are questionable again for tonight's tilt.

Florida, meanwhile, has lost three of four on home ice and was handed a 3-2 loss by the visiting Thrashers on Wednesday. Rich Peverley scored a pair of goals and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 33 shots in Atlanta's victory.

Stephen Weiss and Chris Higgins tallied for the Panthers, who had a two-game win streak halted. Tomas Vokoun started but was pulled after yielding three goals on 15 shots. Clemmensen shut the door over the final 32 minutes, making 16 stops.

It's uncertain if the regular starter Vokoun or backup Clemmensen will get the start tonight. The Panthers are also playing tomorrow night when they visit the Washington Capitals.

The game also featured a bit of controversy as the Panthers appeared to have tied the game at 3-3 when Bryan McCabe's shot with 6:22 left in the third period somehow got through Pavelec and settled in the mesh behind the left post.

Despite mild protests from Florida skaters, the goal was not reviewed.

"It looks like a goal to me. I'm baffled as to why the referees, who need to make certain, didn't go on to the penalty box to ask to take a look at it," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "They looked at everything else. I got no explanation from them other than they said if it was close, Toronto would have buzzed them and they never got a buzz."

The loss dropped the Panthers to 8-7-2 as the home club this year.

01/07 11:05:36 ET

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