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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 10th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (43-14-5) at Florida Panthers (24-29-9), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes hope to rebound from a tough loss tonight, as they travel to Florida to battle the Panthers in the opener of a two-game series at BankAtlantic Center.

The Hurricanes lead the NHL with 91 points and were on a five-game win streak before being dealt a shootout loss Wednesday in Philadelphia. Freddy Meyer scored with 0.6 seconds left in the third period to force overtime and Simon Gagne netted the deciding goal in the shootout, as the Flyers won 3-2.

Justin Williams and Ray Whitney both scored for Carolina, while Martin Gerber made 33 saves in defeat.

The Hurricanes traded for veteran forward Mark Recchi on Thursday in a move designed to alleviate the loss of forward Erik Cole, who is out for at least the remainder of the regular season with a fractured vertebra in his neck. Carolina sent defenseman Niklas Nordgren, forward Krys Kolanos and a second- round selection in the 2007 entry draft to Pittsburgh for Recchi.

Recchi isn't expected to join his new team on the ice until Saturday's game in Florida.

Tonight marks the fourth test of a five-game road trip for the Hurricanes, who are 17-9-4 as the visiting team this year.

Many people expected Florida to be sellers at Thursday's trade deadline, but instead the team held on to its assets. In fact, the Panthers signed center Olli Jokinen to a four-year contract and inked center Chris Gratton to a two- year contract extension.

Florida snapped a three-game losing streak with Wednesday's win over Ottawa. Jozef Stumpel and Nathan Horton each scored two goals to lead the Panthers past the Senators, 6-2.

Martin Gelinas and Rostislav Olesz also lit the lamp while Roberto Luongo came up with 33 saves in net for the Panthers. Luongo made his 19th straight start Wednesday, which broke his own franchise record.

The Panthers, who are 16-8-4 at home this year, are playing the second portion of a five-game homestand tonight.

Carolina is a perfect 5-0 against the Panthers this season.

03/10 10:10:48 ET

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