Happy Pi Day!
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
A preview of tonight’s game can be found below. We’ll have rinkside updates from the Canes morning skate, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. at PNC Arena.Last updated: 5:00 p.m.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF5:00 p.m.
Getting you prepared for tonight's match-up between the Panthers and Hurricanes.
HAPPY π DAY FROM THE CANES!1:00 p.m.
LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES12:30 p.m.
Ryan Murphy (illness) will not play tonight against Florida, per Canes head coach Bill Peters. Rasmus Rissanen, who looked to be the healthy extra in the morning skate, will draw into the lineup.
"We tried to go with Murph against Dallas and probably shouldn't have. He's a little bit under the weather," Peters said. "He tried it again here today, and he won't be able to go. Just not enough strength. A little bit of a flu bug."
Here's more of what Peters had to say after the morning skate.On the opposition:
"They’re like any other team in the playoff race: they’re desperate. Real good win against Winnipeg. Didn’t give up much, 20 shots and two goals. They found a way to win in the third. They’re playing well. ... We’ve got our hands full, they’re going to be desperate and we have to play better than we have recently."On Jaromir Jagr:
"He’s a good player. I just know he’s good offensively, he’s heavy on the puck and when he gets it, he makes good plays with it. He’s still a top-six guy in this league, and he’s good with those kids. ... He just keeps going and going at a high level."On what needs to improve:
"We’ve got to execute better with the puck and tighten up defensively. We’ve given up too many goals. ... We’ve got to do a better job putting pucks in behind people and spending time in the offensive zone."On play of young defensemen:
"They've been fine. It's baptism by fire to a certain degree."On Jack Hillen's concussion:
"Just going through the protocol. I don’t think he’s close myself, but you never know. It changes daily."On finishing the season strong:
"We want to play properly and do good things all the way to the end. Guys want to make sure they’re holding onto a spot moving forward and not opening up question marks. Guys will finish hard and play right to the end. I have no worries about that or questions about their character in that regard. We’ve just got to play the game properly."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE10:30 a.m.
Here's how the Canes lined up this morning.
E. Staal-J. Staal-Lindholm
Patrick Dwyer is a healthy extra up front. We'll have more updates in the room following the skate.
HOMESTAND DRAWS TO CLOSE VS. FLORIDA6:00 a.m.
A five-game homestand, the first of two in the month of March alone, comes to a close on Saturday night when the Carolina Hurricanes host the Florida Panthers, an old Southeast Division opponent, for the first and only time this season.
The two teams, now separated in the two Eastern Conference divisions, have met once this season on Nov. 26 in Florida, a 1-0 shutout win for the Panthers. In that game, Al Montoya and Roberto Luongo combined for a 33-save shutout, with Luongo being the goaltender of record for the win. Nick Bjugstad scored what ultimately was the lone, game-deciding goal just 21 seconds into the game.
“You've got to play 60 minutes right?” head coach Bill Peters said after the game. “I don't think we started on time here today. The game-winning goal was scored on the first shift. Every shift is important, and you have to be ready to start on time.”
That game fell in a particularly tough stretch for the Hurricanes, who had dropped six of seven games at the time. Since the New Year, the Hurricanes are 15-10-4, but the team has won just one of its first five games in March. On Thursday, the Canes dropped a 5-3 decision to the Dallas Stars, a game in which the Canes mounted a late comeback but fell just short.
“They were quicker than us tonight,” Peters said after Thursday’s loss. “Tonight we weren’t as good. They were better than us.”
“I don’t think we deserved to win, to be honest with you. Five minutes is not enough,” said Andrej Nestrasil, who recorded a goal and an assist. “We need to dig deep for 60, and we didn’t do it. The better team won tonight.”
In addition to being in the fifth and final game in the first of the Canes’ two prolonged homestands in March, tonight’s match-up also marks the first in a back-to-back set. Carolina will face off with Columbus on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Florida is on the outside looking in on the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, though they have won four of their last six games. They bring a two-game winning streak to Raleigh after wrapping up a six-game homestand with consecutive wins over the New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets.
NOTES: The Canes will be dressed in black for the 12th and final time this season tonight. They are 8-3-0 in their alternate sweaters this season and have posted a 50-31-6 all-time record in the thirds. … Victor Rask posted a goal and two assists in Thursday’s loss to Dallas. He’s now got 10 goals on the season and points in three straight games (2g, 4a).