NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 20th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (18-14-3) at Florida Panthers (16-16-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try for their first three-game
winning streak since the early stages of the season when they visit the
Florida Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center.
The Hurricanes are leading the Southeast Division with 39 points, but haven't
strung together three straight victories since October 9-13. Carolina has
notched wins over Philadelphia and Toronto its last two times on the ice,
posting both decisions after regulation.
After winning a shootout in Philadelphia last Saturday, the Hurricanes posted
a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory against visiting Toronto on Tuesday.
Cory Stillman started Carolina's incredible late rally with his 17th goal of
the season, then made the key play on the tying goal shortly before Eric
Staal's game-winner in overtime, as the Hurricanes erased a 58-plus minute
shutout and rallied for the win at RBC Center.
Stillman, who suffered a leg injury against Philadelphia, did not appear to
have any lingering effects and sparked a rally that saw the Hurricanes come
back from a two-goal deficit inside the final two minutes of regulation.
Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won two straight after a
three-game skid. John Grahame made 34 saves in the win.
The Hurricanes will open a three-game road trip tonight and are 9-7-2 as the
visiting team this year.
The Panthers have also won two in a row and are coming off a close win in
Montreal on Tuesday. Stephen Weiss registered the game-winner as Florida held
off a late surge from the Canadiens to win 3-2 at the Bell Centre.
Jozef Stumpel and Brett McLean also tallied for Florida, which has also won
three of its last four contests. Tomas Vokoun stopped 23 shots to earn the
The Panthers are 8-7-1 as the host this season and are starting a brief two-
game homestand tonight. They will also welcome Toronto to South Florida on
Carolina is 3-1 against the Panthers this season and has taken 10 of the last
11 meetings with Florida. The Hurricanes have also been victorious in four of
their last five stops in Sunrise.
12/20 10:54:29 ET