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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers: Lineups and Game Discussion

The Hurricanes and Panthers will meet for the first time this season Wednesday night in PNC Arena, as Vincent Trocheck will take on his former team for the first time.

NHL: DEC 21 Panthers at Hurricanes Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Coming off a 7-3 drubbing of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Carolina Hurricanes will be home again Wednesday night for a 5:00 p.m. meeting with the Florida Panthers.

It’ll be the first meeting between the Panthers and Hurricanes this season, the last Central Division opponent had yet to play, and it will be a reunion of sorts for Hurricanes’ center Vincent Trocheck. Trocheck joined Carolina at the trade deadline last season, but Wednesday night’s matchup in PNC Arena will be the first time he faces off against the team that drafted him.

For the Canes, the lineup will be the same as it was for Monday’s win over Columbus, apart from a change in net. Alex Nedeljkovic is expected to get the start between the pipes, his third of the season. He’s 1-1 with a 2.92 GAA so far this year.

Here’s how Rod Brind’Amour’s team will line up Wednesday:

Brock McGinn - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederretier - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Warren Foegele
Jordan Martinook - Cedric Paquette - Jesper Fast

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Jake Gardiner - Brett Pesce
Brady Skjei - Jake Bean

Alex Nedeljkovic
James Reimer

Injuries and Scratches: Haydn Fleury (healthy), Petr Mrazek (right thumb), Max McCormick (upper body, IR)

Taxi Squad: Antoine Bibeau, Morgan Geekie, Steven Lorentz, Joakim Ryan

The Panthers are coming to Raleigh after three straight games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a stretch that resulted in two wins for Florida.

While Trocheck will be getting a reunion on the Hurricanes’ side of things, center Eetu Luostarinen will be doing the same for Florida. Luostarinen, who was sent to Florida in the Trocheck trade, played in eight games for the Hurricanes in 2019-20.

In net for the Panthers will be Chris Dreidger, who is 4-1-1 on the season with a GAA of 2.31. The Hurricanes and Panthers both currently sit with 20 points through 13 games, tied for second in the Central Division, but either would move into first place with a win Wednesday.

Here is how Joel Quenneville’s squad will likely line up in PNC Arena Wednesday:

Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair
Jonathan Huberdeau - Alex Wennberg - Patric Hornqvist
Frank Vatrano - Eetu Luostarinen - Owen Tippett
Ryan Lomberg - Juho Lammikko - Brett Connolly

MacKenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad
Markus Nutivaara - Anton Stralman
Keith Yandle - Radko Gudas

Chris Driedger
Sergei Bobrovsky

Injuries and Scratches: Vinnie Hinostroza (healthy), Noah Juulsen (healthy), Noel Acciari (upper body), Gustav Forsling (upper body , IR)

Taxi Squad: Mason Marchment, Kevin Connauton, Scott Wilson, Philippe Desrosiers

Thursday’s Officials

Referees: TJ Luxmore (21), Jake Brenk (26)

Linesmen: Travis Toomey (90), Brad Kovachik (71)

Video Judge: Pat Bush