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At the Rink blog

Hurricanes hope reunited top line solves scoring woes

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Hurricanes hope reunited top line solves scoring woes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will try to break a scoring drought that has resulted in back-to-back shutout losses against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

To address their scoring issues the Hurricanes have reunited Jiri Tlusty, Eric Staal and Alexander Semin, the team's top line from last season. This season the trio has combined for 22 goals through 46 games; last season they had 54.

"I just want them to be one of our hardest working lines. That's all," coach Kirk Muller said Saturday morning. "They're capable of scoring and making plays. But if they put the work ethic into it -- discipline, short shifts and play hard -- hey, they might score this weekend, they might not. But when it finally kicks in, they've got the chemistry to be a very potent line."

The Panthers did not skate Saturday and are coming off a 3-0 home loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups for the Panthers and Hurricanes:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Nick Bjugstad - Scottie Upshall

Sean Bergenheim - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes

Jonathan Huberdeau - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Jimmy Hayes - Drew Shore - Shawn Matthias

Brian Campbell - Tom Gilbert

Erik Gudbranson - Ed Jovanovski

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Tim Thomas

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Scott Gomez, Mike Mottau, Krys Barch

Injured: Jesse Winchester (bruised hand), Alex Petrovic (upper body), Dylan Olsen (lower body)

HURRICANES

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

Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles

Jay Harrison - Mike Komisarek

Anton Khudobin

Justin Peters

Scratched: Brett Bellemore, Ryan Murphy

Injured: Cam Ward (lower body), Drayson Bowman (lower body)

Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares