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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

Gameday: Hurricanes at Panthers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

FORT LAUDERDALE - Sunshine and hockey.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers 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.

The Hurricanes will be on the ice at BB&T Center at 11:30 a.m. for their morning skate, and we'll be rinkside to bring you the latest.

Last updated: 5:45 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
5:35 p.m.

Mike Maniscalco details tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina three Tools to Victory.

1. Start on Time

Last time in Florida a bad first period dug the Hurricanes into a hole. Put a good start together and have the lead after 20 minutes.

2. Don't Sit Back

The team plays its best brand of hockey when playing up-tempo and with an offensive mentality. Playing that way for 60 minutes against a Panthers team should result in lots of odd-man rushes.

3. Pepper Reto Berra

The Panthers goalie tonight has spent the majority of the season in he AHL, so make him see all shots from all angles from NHL players.


PETERS: PREGAME
1:35 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media in Florida while grinding out an exercise on the stationary bike. Here's some of what he said while he peddaled away.

On turning back to Cam Ward in net: "We can't go wrong right now, in our opinion, with what we do in net. We've got a plan for the rest of this trip, and we'll keep that to ourselves, obviously; it can change. He gave us a chance. We didn't have much energy on Sunday on the back-to-back there. He held us in there and gave us a chance to get a point. It was a valuable point and we wouldn't have been in that position without his play through 40."

On not paying attention to the standings: "We've got a five-game segment going right now. We had a real good segment that we just concluded and got eight out of 10 points, 3-0-2. We're 1-0-1 in this segment. That's what we do: we just focus on tonight, focus on the segment and go from there. We're playing well right now and we want to continue to play well. I expect us to skate better than we did against Philly and see more of our team identity tonight."

On what's going right for the team right now: "The defense is providing some offense. Goaltending has been very strong. The penalty kill stabilized a bit after the deadline. Some timely goals by the power play. And all four lines finding a way to contribute. We like the progress our young guys have made, and we like the fact that we can play four lines right now."

On Florida getting Aaron Ekblad back into the lineup: "It slots everybody properly, right? You get people slotted in the proper slots, and it gets you a world-class player, a real good, young player."


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
11:35 a.m.

The Hurricanes shuffled their lines in Philadelphia, looking to spark something after a slow start, but tonight they'll go back to what they started with on Sunday.

Aho-Staal-Teravainen
McGinn-Rask-Lindholm
Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
Nordstrom-Brown-Di Giuseppe

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Dahlbeck-Murphy

Ward
Lack


CANES AND PANTHERS SET TO SQUARE OFF
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes will make their second stop in South Florida in three weeks when they face off with the Panthers on Tuesday night.

The Hurricanes' four-game road swing continues in Sunrise after a tough 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. After falling behind 2-0 in a slow, sluggish start to the game, the Hurricanes rallied to score three straight goals and take a 3-2 lead in the third period. The Flyers tied the game in the final minute of regulation and secured the extra point with a goal in the first 40 seconds of overtime.

"It was nice to get a point, but it would have been better with two," said Jordan Staal, whose goal gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead in the third.

"It was a good response by the guys, a good character point," head coach Bill Peters said. "Obviously you saw a very tired hockey team out there tonight."

Still, the Hurricanes were resilient to fight back, erase a two-goal deficit and still leave Philadelphia with a point. The team is now 4-0-3 in its last seven games.

"We've got to keep fighting," said Elias Lindholm, who scored Sunday's game-tying goal in the second period.

Lindholm is riding a career high seven-game point streak (3g, 5a), and the Canes are 20-5-5 on the season when he records a point. The Swedish forward has also crossed the 30-assist mark for the first time in his young career.

"I just try to work hard every game," Lindholm said. "Now lately I've gotten a few bounces. It's nice seeing them go in."

"His compete is there each and every night. His compete is at a very high level, and he makes plays. He's playing in traffic, he's very physical and he's involved in every game," Peters said. "He's really rounding into an elite player right now."

The Panthers are returning home from a three-game road trip, in which they posted a 1-2-0 record. The Panthers are winners of just two games in their last nine played at home.

The Hurricanes and Panthers each own 73 points in the standings and sit a distant eight points out of a playoff spot with games remaining dwindling down by the night.

CANESPR NOTES: Jeff Skinner leads the team in scoring (49 points) and goals (26) this season. He now has sole possession for fourth on Carolina's all-time list with 169 career goals, surpassing Erik Cole's 168. Skinner is now just five goals shy of tying current assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour for third all-time (174). … The Hurricanes are 5-2-4 (14 points) and have scored six power-play goals in their 11 games in March thus far.


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