NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 18th
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (18-22-7) at Carolina Hurricanes (19-18-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes recorded a season-high in goals
last week, but the club hasn't managed to light the lamp in two straight
losses since that high-scoring victory.
The 'Canes will try to break out of their scoring slump on Saturday when they
welcome the Florida Panthers to PNC Arena.
Carolina notched a 6-1 blowout victory over visiting Toronto on Jan. 9 to
extend its winning streak to five games before getting shut out in consecutive
games against Columbus and Calgary. The Blue Jackets posted a 3-0 home win
over the Hurricanes a day after Carolina's win against the Maple Leafs and
Calgary notched a 2-0 road win in Raleigh on Monday.
Although the Hurricanes have been idle since Monday's home setback, the club
is about to get a whole lot busier. Beginning with today's tilt, Carolina will
play 11 times over the next 22 days, but eight of those games will be on home
With Carolina currently five points out of a playoff spot in the East, the
Hurricanes know now is a good time to make a move.
"You need to be pushing hard to pick up points because everyone in our
division is, especially at home, so we've got to be ready to go tomorrow,"
captain Eric Staal told his club's official web site.
Carolina enters Saturday with a scoreless streak of 121 minutes, 9 seconds and
the club hopes to snap that funk early in today's game, which is the first of
a three-game homestand.
The Hurricanes sent 23 shots Karri Ramo's way on Monday, but the Flames
goaltender stopped every one to post his first career NHL shutout. Anton
Khudobin was the hard-luck loser after making 27 saves for the Hurricanes.
"They got the lead, and once they did, they were able to sit back a little bit
and defend," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said.
Carolina, which will host Tampa Bay on Sunday, is 10-9-5 as the host this
The Panthers have lost two of their last three games and enter Saturday with a
4-5-2 record over their last 11 games. Florida also was shut out in its last
game, losing a 3-0 decision Thursday night against the visiting San Jose
Sharks. Alex Stalock made 24 saves for the Sharks to post his first career
Tim Thomas stopped 36-of-39 shots for the Panthers, who failed to build off
Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Islanders. Thomas kept the Panthers in the game
early by making 21 saves during a scoreless first period.
"We weren't ready to play, I'm not very happy with that," Panthers coach Peter
Beginning with tonight's game in Raleigh, the Panthers are scheduled to play
three straight and seven of their next eight on the road. Florida is 8-12-3 on
the road this season compared to a 10-10-4 mark on home ice.
The Panthers, who are four points behind Carolina in the conference standings,
have won three of five and seven of the last 10 meetings in this series. The
Hurricanes had won two straight home tests against Florida before the Panthers
registered a 4-1 win in Raleigh on March 19 of last season.
01/18 10:56:26 ET