March19, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes right wing Alexander Semin (28) gets past the Florida Panthers right wing Jack Skille (12) during the 2nd period at the PNC center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Game #56 Vs. Florida Panthers

The Carolina Hurricanes (25-21-9) will play their next to last game before the Olympic break tonight as they take on the Florida Panthers (22-28-7) at 7 ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.

On Jan. 18, the Hurricanes and Panthers met for their first game against each other this season with the Canes coming away with a 3-2 win.

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

Hurricanes’ Outlook: The Hurricanes didn’t play a bad game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, but as has been a popular case for the team all season, a hot goaltender kept them from victory. The Jets ended up scoring with more than a minute left to win the game in regulation.

With the loss, more pressure will be placed on these last two games, especially on this one, since the Panthers are a team the Canes should be able to beat on any night.

Anton Khudobin played strong, but didn’t earn the win, Tuesday and coach Kirk Muller has said he would like to get Cam Ward in a game before the break. With a back-to-back and a tougher challenge tomorrow in the Montreal Canadiens, it may be Ward tonight.

Panthers’ Outlook: The Panthers are probably doing better than what most people would expect them to be doing at the outset of the season, but things still don’t look that positive for the team.

The sit seventh in the Atlantic Division, but 12 points behind the Ottawa Senators in sixth. With a 4-6-0 record in its last 10, it’s not an awful record for Florida, but it’s not one that will turn the season around either.

The Panthers also played last night, losing to the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, and had to travel to Raleigh for today’s game, which means the team should be burnt as tonight’s match moves along.

Scottie Upshall and Brad Boyes lead the low-scoring Panthers with 26 points each.

A recap will be posted after the game.

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