NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (6-9-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (10-8-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The return of several players from injury helped the
Carolina Hurricanes win for just the second time in six games last time out.
They'll try to make it two in a row on Saturday evening in the opener of a
home-and-home set with the Florida Panthers.
Carolina got four players back into the lineup on Thursday against Pittsburgh
and those fresh bodies, as well as a pair of scores from Jiri Tlusty during a
three-goal second period, helped the Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the
Tlusty also had an assist and scored his first goal of the game in the second
period 1:46 before Jeff Skinner tallied to put the 'Canes up by two goals.
Skinner had missed the previous five games with a concussion and has logged a
point in 11 of his 14 games played this season.
Tlusty, meanwhile, recorded his fourth two-goal game of the season and has
nine tallies on the year.
Eric Staal scored and notched a pair of helpers, while Cam Ward made 26 saves
in the win, which head coach Kirk Muller noted featured a lot more energy from
his club thanks to the return of four players.
In addition to Skinner, forward Tim Brent (lower body) and defensemen Tim
Gleason (lower body) and Jamie McBain (upper body) were all back in Carolina's
"It was nice getting some healthy bodies back," said Muller. "But not only
healthy, we were fresh. ... You could see the difference. It gave us a higher
tempo and energy."
The Panthers try to find some energy on Saturday after losing for the eighth
time in 10 games on Thursday. Though they tied the game with 1:26 to play in
regulation on Brian Campbell's sixth goal of the campaign, the Buffalo Sabres
scored twice in a shootout to hand Florida a 4-3 loss.
Jose Theodore stopped 15 shots through regulation and overtime after replacing
of an ineffective Scott Clemmensen in the Florida crease late in the first
period, but the veteran goalie netminder failed to make a save on two skaters
in the shootout. Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller, meanwhile, missed on
their breakaway chances for the Panthers.
"It's frustrating not to get the two points, but we know what our standards
are and how we need to play," said Campbell.
Rookie Drew Shore and Marcel Goc added goals for Florida, which lost
defenseman Mike Weaver to a lower body injury in the game and he did not
The Panthers have won six of their past seven versus the Hurricanes, including
a season-opening 5-1 victory at home on Jan. 19. Campbell scored twice in the
first of four scheduled meetings this season.
Florida has lost six of its past nine in Carolina and will host the 'Canes on
03/02 10:35:18 ET