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Joni Pitkanen returns tonight to take on the Florida Panthers. (Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE)

Pitkanen Returns as Canes take on Panthers

Joni Pitkanen will return to the line-up tonight for the Carolina Hurricanes after missing 44 games with a concussion and knee injury. It will be his first game since early December. The Canes will be looking for their first win of the season against the southeast division leading Florida Panthers, as the Hurricanes are 0-2-2 against the Cats this year. Florida is looking to extend their season-long winning streak to six games tonight as they have lengthened their lead on the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets, currently sitting in eighth and tenth in the eastern conference, respectively. Jose Theodore is expected to get the nod in net tonight. The Panthers are currently led by Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss in points (52 each). It will be important for the Canes to get off to a good start as the Panthers have given up 11 more goals in the first period than they have scored during the season. To read up more on the Panthers before the game tonight, make sure to head on over to The Rat Trick.

For the Canes, both Joni Pitkanen and Jeff Skinner will be back in the line-up, with Skinner coming off of his two game suspension. He has played well against the Panthers in the past, so look for a big game from him tonight. Cam Ward will be the starter for the Canes as he looks for win number 27 on the year. Tim Brent is looking to extend his points streak to five games, while Chad LaRose has scored goals in three straight. Andreas Nodl will be out for at least a week after being injured during the Winnipeg Jets game. Based on the lines in practice, expect the following line combinations for the game tonight:

Tlusty – Staal – LaRose

Ruutu – Jokinen – Skinner

Bowman – Sutter – Dwyer

Stewart – Brent – Joslin

Allen – Gleason

Faulk – Harrison

Pitkanen – McBain

Ward

Boucher

Next Hurricanes Game Full schedule »
Thursday, Oct 2323 Oct7:00at Calgary FlamesBuy Tickets

Tags: Andreas Nodl Cam Ward Chad LaRose Jeff Skinner Joni Pitakenen Tim Brent

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