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Lightning 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 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45