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Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Panthers Surge Started With Canes

Thursday, 12.18.2008 / 11:46 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Panthers Surge Started With Canes
When these two teams last met, the Panthers were planning to use that game as a starting point to turn their season around. Turns out, they weren’t kidding.
Paul Branecky
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Since beating the Hurricanes 3-2 on November 24, Florida has posted a 6-2-2 record and could tie Carolina in the standings with a regulation win tonight. For a Hurricanes team that’s been focusing on moving up to catch the Washington Capitals, tonight’s game will see them peek at the rearview mirror for a change.

However, for Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, who’s known Panthers rookie head coach Peter DeBoer since junior hockey, much more than two points are at stake.

“He’d be in that group of three of four people that you’d call the best of friends, and I hope we beat their [butts] right off tonight,” said Maurice. “I can’t imagine what the summer will be like playing golf with him if we do not win the season series.”

The Panthers have been winning games despite dealing with a number of injuries to key offensive players. Nathan Horton and David Booth have both been out for about three weeks, while former Cane Cory Stillman just returned from missing 13 games with a concussion. 

Also, second-leading scorer Stephen Weiss is “50/50” after picking up a neck/back injury in the team’s most recent game, a 5-3 loss to Vancouver that ended their franchise-record five-game road winning streak.

Tomas Vokoun is expected to get the start in goal tonight for the Panthers. Florida is 6-10-0 when he starts, as opposed to 8-3-3 when co-starter Craig Anderson gets the nod.

On the Canes side, Rod Brind’Amour’s current four-game assist streak has him just one shy of 700 for his career. That would make him only the fourth active player with 400 goals and 700 assists, joining Joe Sakic, Mark Recchi and Mike Modano.

Random notes: Frank Kaberle is back in the lineup tonight .. tonight’s match-up between Carolina and Florida features the second- and third- least penalized teams in the NHL, respectively … By way of his three-assist performance on opening night, Tim Gleason leads the Canes in scoring vs. Florida this season.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73