|Division Rank||8th Metro||5th Atlantic|
|Conference Rank||15th EC||9th EC|
|Streak||Lost 1||Won 2|
|Power Play %||19.9%||15.8%|
|Penalty Kill %||85.9%||79.8%|
|ES Goals For %||43.2%||49.4%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.9%||50.7%|
|ES Save Percentage||.912||.900|
|ES Save Percentage||.901||-|
- You may recall the last time the Canes and Cats met, in Florida on November 26th, interesting because both Florida goalies ended up pitching a shutout. Nick Bjugstad scored for the Panthers just 21 seconds into the first period, and it was the only time a puck found the back of the net for either team. Roberto Luongo started the game and made 11 saves before suffering an apparent injury while lunging to make a play. In relief, Al Montoya made 22 saves to preserve the 1-0 shutout win.
- The Luongo/Montoya tandem played into more drama for the Panthers when both goalies sustained injuries in a game against the Maple Leafs on March 3rd. Luongo started, but after taking a shot to the shoulder, he was replaced in the second period by Montoya, who then suffered a groin pull trying to block a shot. In obvious pain, Montoya remained in net for over 10 minutes until Luongo was able to change back into gear and return to the game. As this was happening, Panthers goaltender coach Robb Tallas was suiting up to serve as emergency backup. The Panthers went on to lose that game 3-2, and both goaltenders have been out since. Montoya's injury will keep him out a while; Luongo is traveling with the team and may be able to return to action soon but he is not projected be in the line-up tonight.
- Enter tonight's likely starter, Dan Ellis, known around these parts for working his way onto a post-lockout 2012-13 Hurricanes squad after signing a tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers. Relegated to the San Antonio Rampage at the beginning of this season, the journeyman net minder has started the last three games for the Panthers and has a 2-0-1 record and a .900 save percentage. Backing up Ellis will be Sam Brittain, recalled from Cincinnatti of the ECHL and yet to play in either an NHL or AHL game. Let the shutout speculation commence.
- Up front for the Panthers, Bjugstad leads the team in points (41) tied with Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau, and rookie Aleksander Barkov, make up an intriguing line with veteran and future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr. At 43, Jagr is older than both Barkov (19) and Huberdeau (21) combined. Jagr will be playing in his 82nd game against the Hurricanes tonight: a full season's worth of games played against the Canes in his career, with 113 points to show for it. Jagr has five points in the five games he has played with Florida since being acquired from the Devils at the trade deadline.
- In addition to Jagr, two other Panthers players are point-per-game producers against the Canes. One is Huberdeau, with eight points in seven games. The third is none other than Jussi Jokinen, who played in 288 games for the Canes and has 15 points in 15 games against his former team, including a hat trick.
- The Panthers are six points behind Boston in their battle for the last wild card spot in the East with 15 games left. They lead the league (tied with the Flyers) with the most loser (OT) points with 14.
- There's not a lot new to report for the Canes, who are wrapping up a five-game homestand tonight with a 1-2-1 record so far, including a loss to the Dallas Stars Thursday night that wasn't as close as the 5-3 score might indicate. Victor Rask and Andrej Nestrasil were bright spots in an otherwise underwhelming performance. Rask tallied a three-point night (1g, 2a) and has six points in his last three games. Nestrasil also scored and has logged 12 points in 16 games following the All-Star break.
- As a result of Thursday's loss and a win by Boston, the Canes' tragic number for playoff elimination is now 11.
- The Canes had a scheduled day off yesterday, so there were no updates or line-up changes reported going into today's game. More information will be available after the morning skate.
- In case you missed it, Dobby and Nesty tried Girl Scout cookies for the first time. Hilarity ensued.
Hurricanes (from Thursday's game)
Injuries and Scratches: Jack Hillen (concussion), Brad Malone, John-Michael Liles
Panthers (from Thursday's game):
Injuries and Scratches: Roberto Luongo (shoulder), Al Montoya (groin), Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky, Alex Petrovic