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Monday, October 13th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (1-0-1-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-2-0-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes try to avoid an 0-3 start tonight when they welcome the Florida Panthers to RBC Center.

This is already the second time this season the Canes and Cats have been matched against one another, as Florida posted a 3-1 home victory in last Thursday's opener.

After that defeat, the Hurricanes were topped 2-1 by visiting New Jersey two nights later. Martin Brodeur stymied Carolina with 30 saves, and Rod Brind'Amour managed the only goal in the loss. Netminder Kevin Weekes made 20 stops in the setback.

Carolina, which finished last in the NHL last season after a 2002 trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, has given up the first goal in each of its first two games to this point. Last campaign Paul Maurice's club surrendered the opening tally in 50 contests.

The Hurricanes have not been 0-3 since 1997-98, their first season playing in Carolina after relocating from Hartford.

Maurice's crew will begin a four-game road trip next Saturday against the NY Rangers.

Florida, meanwhile, is 1-0-1 after two tries, as it skated to a 1-1 tie with visiting Boston on Saturday night. Panthers captain Olli Jokinen scored the equalizer 3:17 into the third period, and Roberto Luongo finished with 32 saves between the pipes.

Jokinen, who broke out with 65 points a season ago, has found the scoresheet in both games thus far, posting a goal and an assist. Viktor Kozlov and Niklas Hangman have two points thus far as well.

The Panthers kick off a tough road stretch tonight, as they'll play seven-of- nine away from Sunrise. Florida was a respectable 16-15-6-4 on the road last season.

The Panthers have won three straight and five of the last six meetings with Carolina. Florida is, however, 1-4-1 in its last six visits to Raleigh.

10/13 10:17:37 ET


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