The red hot Carolina Hurricanes, (26-30-7) are ready to do battle with the Florida Panthers, (25-28-10) in a Southeast Division showdown tonight in Sunrise, Florida. The Canes are winners of their last seven games in a row and have a 12-3-0 record since January 21, the first game for the club since Eric Staal was named as team Captain.
Staal has 19 points during the successful 15 game stretch. The Hurricanes have out-scored their opponents 51-29 during that same time frame and special teams have excelled as the powerplay is 15-59 (25.4%) and the penalty kill is 51-55, (92.7%).
While the Canes currently find themselves only seven points out of a potential playoff spot, they remain in 14th position in the Eastern Conference and have several teams to climb over in order to get to where they want to be.
Tonight's game is very important because with a win, they can jump over at least one of those teams.
Justin Peters will put his undefeated record on the line tonight as the rookie will get the start against the Panthers. Manny Legace will start tomorrow in Atlanta.
Tomas Vokoun will be in net for Florida.
|2009 - Justin Peters||3||179||3||0||4||1.34||93||89||.957||0|
|2009 - Tomas Vokoun||52||3090||20||21||123||2.39||1759||1636||.930||7|
Carolina will go with the same lineup they used against Ottawa on Thursday night.
- Staal, Whitney, Jokinen
- Sutter, Ruutu, LaRose
- Dwyer, Cole, Samsonov
- Brind'Amour, Kostopoulos, Boychuk
- Gleason, Pothier
- Pitkanen, Picard
- Carson, Harrison
Brandon Sutter has the longest current point streak going for the team and has points in four straight games.
The Panthers and Hurricanes have met five times already this season, with the home team prevailing in each contest. The visitors will be looking to break up that progression tonight.
Florida had lost seven games in a row before beating the Flyers, 7-4 on Wednesday night. They did not win a single game in the month of February.
Ex-Cane, Dennis Seidenberg was traded to Boston on trade deadline day, but Cory Stillman, a previous Cup winner with Carolina, is still in the mix.
For more Panthers information, check out our bud Donny over at The Litter Box.
The game will be televised by FS Carolinas starting at 7 (
7:30). We will have the open game thread up and running at 6:30.
SB Nation's former hockey blog editor, Brandon Worley, recently accepted a new position blogging for NBC Sports over at Pro Hockey Talk. Congratulations to Brandon, as well as to our new boss, Travis Hughes, who will be taking over Worley's duties.
First we lost James Mirtle and now Brandon Worley. How long before Hughes is offered a new gig?
Pro Hockey Talk recently ran an article about the Hurricanes current streak and asked yours truly for some input.
The state of the blog....is good.
We recently achieved a couple of milestones here at Canes Country that are worth mentioning. First of all, we celebrated our one year anniversary with SB Nation in February. The blog had over one million page views in our first year here, and we continue to grow every week.
Also, we set new CC records for traffic and comments for one day on trade deadline day this past Wednesday. There were over 2,000 comments and 14,000 page views during that busy day. A big thank you to all who participated and for helping to make Canes Country one of the busiest hockey blogs out there.