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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers: Game Preview and Storm Advisory

The Hurricanes will face the last team they’ve yet to face this season tonight.

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Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Canes will square off with the final division foe they’ve yet to face this season tonight, hosting the Florida Panthers at PNC Arena with a rare week day 5 p.m. puck drop.

In game two of this five-game homestand, the Canes will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games, and win an important game in the divisional standings, with the Canes and Panthers currently tied for the Central lead in points percentage (they’re also each a point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-7-3 13-13-7
Goals/Game 3.23 2.54
Goals Against/Game 2.48 3.12
Shots/Game 31.52 28.70
Face Off Win % 54.4% 46.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 30.6% (1st) 14.8% (26th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.9% (9th) 74.0% (26th)
ES Corsi For % 53.04% 46.16%
ES PDO 100.96 99.42
PIM/Game 07:21 06:43

Goaltender #1

Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Record 12-4-1 8-10-5
Save % 0.909 .900
GAA 2.68 2.98

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Record 7-2-2 5-3-2
Save % .930 .912
GAA 1.96 2.91

Game Notes

  • This is the first divisional matchup between the Canes and Panthers since the 2012-13 season, but the teams used to square off frequently as Southeast Division foes before the NHL’s last realignment. Carolina brings a 63-44-11-6 all-time record against the Cats into this one, and the team’s 35 wins against Florida at PNC Arena are its most in the building.
  • Vincent Trocheck, who’s been one of the Canes’ top performers early this season, will face off against his former team for the first time since joining the Hurricanes at the 2020 trade deadline. Trocheck played 420 games for the Panthers from 2014-20. He’s second on the Canes with 13 points this season, and brings a four-game point streak into this game. He’s also three points shy of 300 career NHL points.
  • If James Reimer starts in net for Carolina, he’ll also be facing his former team, as the Hurricanes acquired him from Florida during the 2019 offseason for Scott Darling. Reimer made 110 starts for Florida over three seasons, and won his lone start against the Panthers for the Canes last year.
  • The Canes come into this game with some unlikely leaders: Jordan Staal leads the team in points with 14, and Nino Niederreiter and Brock McGinn are tied for the team lead in goals with seven. Niederreiter is two points shy of 300 careerNHL points. Staal has points in three straight games, as does Andrei Svechnikov.
  • Jonathan Hubedreau is off to a torrid start to this season for Florida, with five goals and 17 points in 13 games. Aleksander Barkov is right behind him with five goals and 14 points.

Storm Advisory

Yesterday’s News Today

Reading Assignments

  • Canes Twitter is such a wonderful place and this week they added Gilbert Gottfried to the mix. If you want to know why go over to Twitter and search Gilbert Gottfried Canes, but be warned it’s NSFW due to strong language. The Hurricanes, as always, were quick to capitalize on the trending matter getting a cutout of Gottfriend in to the stands at PNC Arena:
  • Congrats to the Smith family!
  • The legend of Carolina Hurricanes forward Alex Galchenyuk has come to an end as he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for two prospects. Serious question, who gets to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame first: Galchenyuk or Patrick Marleau? [Hurricanes]
  • Hurricanes could make Paquette trade because these pieces fell into place. [N&O]
  • More on the Gottfried situation and why the Hurricanes have the potential to make something special happen this season. [The Athletic $]
  • Dysfunction in the desert: Finger-pointing, fear and financial woes roil the Coyotes organization. [The Athletic $]
  • Wondering how Gritty spent his Valentine’s Day? You probably weren’t but here you go anyways:
  • Hockey has a gigantic goalie problem. [Atlantic]
  • The NHL vs. COVID: Latest updates on postponements, rapid testing, playoff plans, financials. [ESPN]
  • More postponements in the Central Division, but this time it is due to a winter weather storm in Texas. [CBS]
  • A neat story out of Alberta where the world’s longest hockey game recently raised over $1.8M for cancer research. [NBC Sports]