March19, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) and the Florida Panthers center Drew Shore (15) during a face off at the PNC center. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Game #47 Vs. Florida Panthers


The Carolina Hurricanes will return to the ice at Raleigh after a four-day break to take on the Florida Panthers tonight at 7 ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.

This will be the first meeting between the two ex-Southeast Division rivals.

 Hurricanes’ Lineup:
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Patrick Dwyer
Jeff Skinner – Elias Lindholm – Tuomo Ruutu
Manny Malhotra – Riley Nash – Radek Dvorak
 
Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey
Jay Harrison – Mike Komisarek
 
Anton Khudobin
[Justin Peters]
Possible Scratches: Cam Ward (Injured). Drayson Bowman, Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore (Healthy).
 
Panthers’ Lineup
Sean Bergenheim – Aleksander Barkov – Brad Boyes
Thomas Fleischmann – Nick Bjustad – Scottie Upshall
Jonathan Huberdeau – Marcel Goc – Thomas Kopecky
Shawn Matthias – Drew Shore – Jimmy Hayes
 
Brian Campbell – Tom Gilbert
Dmitry Kulikov – Mike Weaver
Erik Gudbranson – Ed Jovanovski
 
Tim Thomas/Scott Clemmenson
Possible Scratches: Jesse Winchester, Dylan Olsen, Alex Petrovic, Matt Gilroy (Injured).

Hurricanes’ Outlook: The lineup returned to full health, expect for Cam Ward, in Monday night’s game against the Calgary Flames and with a four-day break, the injured players should have healed even more.

To try and start some offense that has been non-existent in the past two games, coach Kirk Muller has recreated the first line from last season and put Jeff Skinner, Elias Lindholm and Tuomo Ruutu together on the third line.

Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty looked strong against the Flames in the time they were together. Getting that line going again would be huge for the Canes.

Skinner and Ruutu had some chemistry going when they were paired with Eric Staal in December, that chemistry may remain with Lindholm as the new center also.

Anton Khudobin played well against the Flames, even if he did let up three goals in the process. However, a starter has not been named yet.

UPDATE: Khudobin will be in net, while a third pairing of Jay Harrison and Mike Komisarek will play tonight.

Panthers’ Outlook: It’s been an up-and-down season for the Panthers. They started with an awful record, then had a four-game win streak in the middle of December and started to make a push for playoffs. Since then the team has middled out with a 4-4-2 record in its last 10.

Florida now sits in seventh in the Atlantic Division with 43 points, only four less than the Hurricanes, but with one more game played.

The Panthers last played Thursday night, losing to the San Jose Sharks, 3-0. Before that they ended the New York Islanders’ seven-game road winning streak, 4-2.

Leading the team in scoring is rookie and second-overall pick from this year’s draft, Aleksander Barkov with 23 points. Brad Boyes has 22.

Tim Thomas has played the lion’s share of games for the Panthers, while veteran Scott Clemmenson is the backup. A starter has not been announced.

A recap will be posted after the game.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal Jeff Skinner