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Panthers Surge Started With Canes

Thursday, 12.18.2008 / 11:46 AM ET / 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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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