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Preview: Panthers vs. Hurricanes

Trocheck has scored in each game vs. his former team this season

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

The Carolina Hurricanes host the Central Division-leading Florida Panthers for a two-game set.


The Match-Up

Florida Panthers (26-9-4, 56 points) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (25-9-3, 53 points)

Tuesday, April 6, 7 p.m.

Watch: Bally Sports South, FOX Sports GO

Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan, Hurricanes.com/Listen, Hurricanes app

PROJECTED LINEUP


Numbers to Know

3: Petr Mrazek returned to the crease and stopped all 28 shots he faced against Dallas on Sunday to record his third shutout in just five starts this season. Despite missing 31 games due to injury, Mrazek ranks tied for third in the NHL in shutouts, and his three alone are more than 16 other teams in the league have this season.

4: Vincent Trocheck has scored a goal in each of the four games against the Panthers this season. Trocheck is the only player in franchise history to score in his first four games against his former team after being traded since the league began tracking trades in 1991-92.

10: Trocheck has registered at least a point in each of his last 10 games played (5g, 8a).


The Opposition

Last five games: 5-0-0, 10 points
On the road: 12-5-1, 25 points
CAR vs. FLA: 3-0-1
Leading scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau, 42 points (14g, 28a) in 39 games

With 56 points through 39 games, the Panthers sit atop the league standings. Despite losing Aaron Ekblad to a left leg fracture that likely ends the defenseman's season (he's sidelined for 12 weeks following surgery), Florida has won six straight games, including four straight at home in the last week. The Panthers now hit the road for a season-long, six-game road trip that takes the team through Raleigh, Dallas and Tampa, a critical stretch as the top three teams jockey for playoff positioning in the Central Division.  


The Last Meeting

Trocheck scored against his former team for the fourth time in as many games against them this season, and Sebastian Aho netted the game-winning goal while shorthanded just 38 seconds into the third period in a 4-2 final on March 7.

Video: Hurricanes defeat Panthers for fifth straight victory

"It was a good effort all the way. We didn't really have any lulls in the game. There wasn't a lot going on for large stretches, but it was because there was no room," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I like the fact that we hung in there, didn't get frustrated and just kept playing. Then, we made some big plays when we had to."


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