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The Lines Remain The Same - For Now: Hurricanes At Panthers, Game Day Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes, (6-6), are currently in Sunrise, Florida to play the first game of a back-to-back and home-and-home series with the Florida Panthers, (4-6).  The Canes are coming off a huge, 7-2 win over the New York Islanders while Florida most recently lost, 4-3,  to the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night.  The Panthers had a season high 55 shots on goal in the losing effort.

John Forslund tweeted today that the Canes will be leaving the lines the same as they were against the Islanders.  Brett Carson, who is filling in for the injured Joni Pitkanen, will start out paired with Jamie McBain on defense.

  • Staal, Skinner, LaRose
  • Sutter, Tlusty, Dwyer
  • Ruutu, Jokinen, Cole
  • Matsumoto, Kostopoulos, Samsonov
  • Gleason, Corvo
  • Babchuk, Harrison
  • McBain, Carson

Cam Ward will be between the pipes for the Canes and is expected to start both games.

Expect Tomas Vokoun to be in net for the Panthers.  So far, Vokoun has not exactly lived up to the Vezina billing that he was getting last year, but he's still a tough nut to crack and already has two shutouts to his credit this season.

2010 - Cam Ward 10 606 6 4 27 2.67 359 332 .925 0

2010 - Tomas Vokoun 9 515 4 5 22 2.56 252 230 .913 2


The Panthers are led by David Booth, who has 8 points, (4G 4A), in 10 games and by Bryan McCabe, who is scoring like he did with the Leafs, (7 points, 1G 6A).  Their lines started out on Wednesday as follows:

  • Booth, Santorelli, Bernier
  • Frolik, Higgins, Weiss
  • Dvorak, Stillman, Reasoner
  • Olesz, Reinprecht, Matthias
  • Allen, Wideman
  • Kulikov, McCabe
  • Weaver, Garrison

For more info about the Panthers, check out Donny's work over at Litter Box Cats.

The Hurricanes currently have three players riding two game point streaks, Joe Corvo, Brandon Sutter, and Jeff Skinner.  Skinner also leads the team with 10 points, (4G 6A), while Eric Staal is close behind with 9, (4G 5A). 

This is the fourth of 21 sets of back-to-back games for Carolina.  So far they are 3-0 in the first game and 1-2 in the second game of the first three sets.

At the moment, the Canes are 7 of 54 for 13% on the powerplay, (23rd in the league), while they are 38 of 49 for 77.6% on the kill, (25th).  The Cats are  87.5% on the kill which is good for 7th best, while they are a 28th best,  9.1% converting with the man advantage.

Each team won three of six meetings last season.

The game will be broadcast in HD by FS Carolinas beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Our open game thread will crank up at 7.