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Game Day Hurricanes at Panthers

The Canes head back out on the road, facing the Panthers tonight in south Florida before heading to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and a home-and home against the Penguins to wrap up the holiday weekend.

Riley Nash currently leads the Canes in scoring and is one of the NHL's best bargains to boot.
Riley Nash currently leads the Canes in scoring and is one of the NHL's best bargains to boot.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers
November 26, 2014 - 7:30 pm ET
BB&T Arena - Sunrise, FL
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Litter Box Cats

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Panthers
Record 6-11-3 7-6-6
Points 15 20
Division Rank 7th Metro 7th Atlantic
Conference Rank 14th EC 12th EC
Streak Lost 2 Lost 1

Power Play % 20.0% 15.4%
Penalty Kill % 81.7% 78.7%
Goals/Game 2.40 2.10
Goals Against/Game 3.00 2.53
Shots/Game 29 29.2
Shots Against/Game 28.6 31.5
ES Goals For % 44.0% 52.0%
ES Corsi For % 51.8% 48.9%
PIM/Game 9.0 10.1

Goaltender Ward Luongo
Record 6-7-1 6-5-5
ES Save Percentage .907 .939
GAA 2.71 2.40

Goaltender Khudobin Montoya
Record 0-4-2 1-1-1
ES Save Percentage .899 .915
GAA 2.97 2.24

Game Notes

  • To the game shortly, but first, there are a couple of recent articles in the local paper that aren't specifically game-related but worthy of a read and discussion.
    • Canes working to draw more fans: Hurricanes president Don Waddell provided a rather candid update on attendance eight home games into the Canes season. To no one's surprise, the numbers are bad. The Canes are next to last in the league in attendance this season, just ahead of tonight's opponent, the Florida Panthers. Both organizations have made a conscious effort to curtail prior practices around deep discounting that eroded and devalued the season ticket holder base, and that decision along with a mediocre win/loss record has been visible in the stands. If I can make a brief editorial comment, this is the first time in my involvement as a season ticket holder (tenth year) that I can recall this level of transparency from the Hurricanes organization in terms of actual season ticket holder volumes, renewal levels, and season ticket holder impact on team revenue.
    • Francis on team's "roller coaster" start: The Canes have hit the quarter mark of the 2014-15 season, and are on pace for 62 points. That has to be just a little frustrating for general manager Ron Francis, who went on the record with his assessment of the first 20 games. He spoke about the progress that had been made in the structure and system under new head coach Bill Peters, accountability and seven million sitting in the press box, the need to play with a more physically intimidating presence, and speculation on available moves to improve the team.
  • After a three-game road swing through the Western Conference, the Hurricanes got a couple of days of rest and practice at home before heading back out on the road. This trip takes them from south Florida, where they'll face the Panthers tonight, to Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh and a home-and home series against the Penguins to wrap up the holiday weekend.
  • The Hurricanes haven't played since their 4-3 loss in Denver on Saturday, but they play three games in the next four days and the next two on the road.
  • There are a few roster changes since last week's road trip. Brett Bellemore was injured during Saturday's game against the Avalanche, and he's been placed on injured reserve. Michal Jordan has been recalled from the Checkers, and will take Bellemore's place on defense paired with Ron Hainsey. With fourteen forwards on the roster after the waiver acquisition of Andrej Nestrasil, Chris Terry has been sent to Charlotte on a conditioning assignment.
  • Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, and Nathan Gerbe all have points in their last three games. Andrej Nestrasil is on a one-game goal scoring streak after notching his first career NHL goal in his first start as a Hurricane. Alexander Semin is still seeking his elusive 500th career NHL point.
  • Here's a cool stat, according to Cap Geek, Riley Nash is the NHL's best bargain so far this season. Nash currently leads the Canes in points with 15 (4g, 11a).
  • Cam Ward is probable to get the start in tonight's game. If so, it will be his fourth in a row.
  • The Panthers and Canes met three times last season and the Canes swept the series. This is the first time the two teams will face each other this season.
  • The Panthers enter tonight's game with a 3-4-1 home record, including a 4-1 loss in a lackluster effort against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
  • Scottie Upshall and Derek MacKenzie played Monday night but didn't practice with the team yesterday and are questionable for tonight's game. Upshall suffered a foot injury, and MacKenzie has been fighting an illness.
  • Jussi who is leading the Panthers in points? None other than former Hurricane Jussi Jokinen, with 12 points (2g, 10a). Nick Bjugstad leads the team in scoring, with seven goals.
  • In case it's relevant, Dmitry Kulikov, Dylan Olsen, Tomas Kopecky, and Colby Robak have been held without goals so far this season, and Robak has yet to register a point.
  • The Panthers haven't named a starting goaltender, but chances are it will be the familiar face of Roberto Luongo, who has been solid between the pipes this season and has been counted on to keep his team in a position to win. Luongo is 10-14-4 with a 2.59 GAA and one shutout in 28 career appearances against the Canes.

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes (from Tuesday's practice)

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil
Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - John-Michael Liles
Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Staal (IR broken fibula), Brett Bellemore (IR lower body), Jay Harrison (healthy), Brad Malone (healthy)

Panthers (from Tuesday's practice)

Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Brandon Pirri
Sean Bergenheim - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes
Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Jimmy Hayes
Tomas Fleischmann - Tomas Kopecky - Shawn Thornton

Willie Mitchell - Dmitry Kulikov
Aaron Ekblad - Brian Campbell
Erik Gudbranson - Dylan Olsen

Roberto Luongo
Al Montoya

Injuries and Scratches: Dave Bolland (IR groin), Scottie Upshall (DTD foot), Derek MacKenzie (DTD illness), Colby Robak (healthy)