The Hurricanes begin a three game road trip tonight with a swing down to Sunrise, Florida as they take on the Florida Panthers. They are currently riding high on a season best four game winning streak. The Panthers have won two of their last three, with the loss being a shootout loss in Montreal.
Florida is just returning home after an extended road trip which had them stay an extra day in Toronto because of weather and other problems. Panthers Blog, "On Frozen Pond" has more information about the game tonight from their perspective. The Cats are just five points behind the Canes in the Southeast Division race.
Carolina is completely healthy for just the second time in the last 140 games, and will be hoping to keep it that way for awhile. Playing in Florida will be a good test to that streak.
The Canes have won two of the three meetings so far with the Panthers this season, but you can count on these contests to be tight ones as six of the last seven games have been decided by just one goal. Carolina's road record now is 9-6-4 while Florida's home record is 8-5-3.
Look for Cam Ward to be in net again for the Canes. His record is 8-2-1 in his last 11 games.
While Ray Whitney and Eric Staal lead the Canes with 34 and 31 points respectively, Stephen Weiss and David Booth are setting the pace for Florida with 26 and 24 points. Booth has played very well against the Hurricanes this season and may have taken over for previous "Canes Killer", Olli Jokinen. Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman are always threats as well.
Ex-Panther, Ray Whitney was the Hurricanes leading point earner against the Cats last season with 9 points in the 8 game series.
Will the Canes extend their winning streak? Start time tonight is 7:30 and the game will be broadcast by FS Carolinas.