NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 1st
(All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (26-29-7) at Carolina Hurricanes (29-25-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After completing a pair of trades with each other over the
last week, the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes will meet on the ice
tonight at the RBC Center in Raleigh.
The Hurricanes and Panthers combined on a trade last Thursday when Carolina
reacquired left wing Cory Stillman from Florida for forward Ryan Carter and a
fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft. Yesterday, the clubs pulled off another
deal as Carolina sent forward Sergei Samsonov to Florida for defenseman Bryan
Allen. Samsonov and Allen are expected to skate tonight for their new
Carolina is attempting to load up for a run to the postseason and is currently
holding onto the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, with 59 points, the Panthers are 12th in the East and eight points
behind the Hurricanes.
Florida general manager Dale Tallon shed tons of salary in the days leading up
to Monday's trade deadline. In addition to the players shipped to Carolina,
the Panthers also dealt forwards Radek Dvorak and Chris Higgins as well as
defensemen Dennis Wideman and Bryan McCabe.
Stillman has played in two games for Carolina since the trade and notched a
goal in Saturday's 4-3 loss at Montreal. Andrei Kostitsyn's power-play goal
snapped a 3-3 tie with 3:53 remaining in the third period to lift the
Canadiens to the win.
In addition to Stillman, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu also scored goals for
the Hurricanes and Cam Ward made 23 saves in defeat.
"It's a disappointing result for us," said Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice.
The Hurricanes played Saturday's test without captain and leading scorer Eric
Staal, who is battling an upper-body injury. Staal skated on Monday and is
questionable for this evening's test. The star centerman leads Carolina in
both goals (27) and assists (32) this season.
Carolina has lost three of its last four games and compiled a 4-6-3 record in
February. Tonight's tilt marks the first of two straight on home ice for the
Hurricanes, who are 16-10-3 as the host this season.
Florida has also dropped three of its last four games and the Panthers have
won just five times over their last 19 games (5-9-5).
The Panthers were dealt a 2-1 regulation loss in Sunday's game against
visiting New Jersey. The Devils scored both of their goals in the second
period to grab a 2-0 advantage and held on for the win in the third.
Marty Reasoner provided the sole offense for the Panthers, while Tomas Vokoun
made 24 stops in defeat.
"To beat a team like New Jersey you've got to get the lead," Panthers coach
Pete DeBoer said.
Carolina has taken three of its five meetings with the Panthers this season
and can win the season series tonight. The clubs have split the last 10
encounters overall, but the Hurricanes have won six out of eight as the host.
The Panthers are just 14-17-1 as the visiting team this season.
03/01 10:57:41 ET