The Carolina Hurricanes (31-32-9) begin their last 10 games of the season tonight against the Florida Panthers (27-38-8) at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and boradcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.
The Hurricanes have won the two previous games including a 5-1 win on Jan. 7.
Hurricanes’ LineupJiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Andrei Loktionov Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Alexander Semin Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Patrick Dwyer Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Elias Lindholm Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey Brett Bellemore – Jay Harrison Cam Ward/Anton Khudobin Possible Scratches: Mike Komisarek, Radek Dvorak and Justin Peters (Healthy). Panthers’ Lineup Sean Bergenheim – Nick Bjugstad – Brad Boyes Tomas Fleischmann – Vincent Trocheck – Scottie Upshall Quinton Howden – Brandon Pirri – Jesse Winchester Krys Barch – Scott Gomez – Jimmy Hayes Brian Campbell – Dmitry Kulikov Ed Jovanoski – Tom Gilbert Dylan Olsen – Colby Robak Roberto Luongo/Scott Clemmenson Possible Scratches: Aleksander Barkov, Tomas Kopecky, Jonathan Huberdeau, Erik Gudbranson, Alex Petrovic (Injured).
The Canes played a team that was down and out on the season, but still lost to the New York Islanders on Tuesday in a terrible fashion. If that teaches anything, it’s don’t take a team granted.
Obviously, a better start will be needed. Allowing even two goals in the first 11 minutes is rough, and the Hurricanes allowed four.
Andrej Sekera, Justin Faulk and Eric Staal need better efforts, especially in the defensive end. The trio is counted on for a lot and whether that’s fair or not, it’s how things are.
Cam Ward was pulled after the Isles’ third goal, but didn’t play that bad. Either way, I would expect Anton Khudobin to get the start in net.
It’s been another rough season in Orlando, as the Panthers will miss the playoffs for the second straight year and 11th in 12 years.
However, there’s still hope in the future with Nick Bjugstad, who has 33 points in 67 games. Aleksander Barkov has 24 points in 54 games, but is injured and will miss the game.
The last time the Hurricanes played the Panthers, they had a goaltending tandem of Tim Thomas and Jacob Markstrom. More than a moth later, Roberto Luongo is back and has improved the crease.
The Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, in their last game and are 3-6-1 in their last 10.
A recap will be posted after the game.