NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, March 20th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (40-30-5) at Florida Panthers (35-31-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will try to set a new club record for
consecutive victories tonight, when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to
BankAtlantic Center for a battle between Southeast Division foes.
The Panthers have won seven games in a row to match the franchise record
originally set from November 2-14, 1995 and matched during a seven-game run
from March 17-29, 2006.
Florida's winning streak has pulled the club within four points of
Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East. The Panthers,
who haven't made the postseason since 2000, have 78 points on the year and are
currently the 11th seed in the conference.
The Panthers posted their most recent win Sunday against visiting Atlanta.
Olli Jokinen tallied a goal and an assist as Florida posted a 3-1 decision
over the Thrashers.
Radek Dvorak and Rostislav Olesz each scored for the Panthers, while Tomas
Vokoun stopped 29 shots in the win.
Tonight's test marks the sixth segment of a seven-game homestand for Florida,
which is 5-0 on the residency so far and 17-13-7 as the hosts this season. The
Panthers had lost three straight and four of five at BankAtlantic Center
before the current stand.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes would like to extend their lead in the Southeast
Division even further tonight. Last night, Carolina pushed its cushion for the
division lead to five points as it beat Atlanta and Washington lost to
Chicago. The Capitals are idle tonight so the Hurricanes can extend their
advantage to seven points with a win.
Carolina notched a 5-3 win over the Thrashers on Wednesday, as Sergei Samsonov
had a goal and an assist to lead the Hurricanes at Philips Arena.
Cam Ward stopped 31 out of the 34 shots he faced for the Hurricanes, who won
their seventh contest in eight tries and sit five points behind Montreal for
second place in the East.
Trevor Letowski, Erik Cole, Eric Staal and Joe Jensen also scored for the
The Hurricanes are 18-18-2 as the visiting team this year and have taken three
of four and four of their last six road tests.
Carolina is 4-2 against the Panthers this year and has won 11 of the last 13
encounters between the clubs. The Hurricanes have also won four of their
previous six tests in Sunrise, but Florida has won two of the last three
meetings on its home ice.
03/20 10:57:08 ET