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game preview

Hurricanes at Panthers preview

Carolina can move into second wild card in East with victory; Florida seeks fourth straight win

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

HURRICANES (31-23-6) at PANTHERS (26-24-8)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-SE, NHL.TV


The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes can take over the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with a win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Carolina, which trails the idle Columbus Blue Jackets by one point, has won three of four and is 9-3-1 in its past 13 games.

The Panthers will stick with goalie James Reimer when they look to extend their winning streak to four games. Reimer started in consecutive victories against the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

The teams haven't played each other since Carolina won 4-1 at PNC Arena on Nov. 23.


Players to watch

Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past seven games.

Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past two games.


They said it

"I'm happy that the game was how we wanted to play. If we can do it that way for the rest of the remaining games, I think we'll be in good shape." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour on a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday

"It doesn't matter who we play. We've got to win. We've got to get on a streak if we want to get back to close to the playoffs. (We've won) nine of 13, but we've just got to keep going, have like five or six (wins) in a row." -- Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau


Hurricanes projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams

Micheal Ferland -- Lucas Wallmark -- Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Martinook -- Brock McGinn

Warren Foegele -- Greg McKegg -- Saku Maenalanen

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Brett Pesce -- Justin Faulk

Calvin de Haan -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: None

Injured: Jordan Staal (upper body)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Frank Vatrano

Evgenii Dadonov -- Vincent Trocheck -- Jayce Hawryluk

Riley Sheahan -- Derick Brassard -- Mike Hoffman

Troy Brouwer -- Henrik Borgstrom -- Denis Malgin

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk -- MacKenzie Weegar

Ian McCoshen -- Josh Brown

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Bogdan Kiselevich, Jamie McGinn

Injured: Mike Matheson (lower body), Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), Colton Sceviour (wrist)


Status report

The Hurricanes did not have a morning skate. ... Staal is expected to miss his 27th game, but Brind'Amour said Wednesday he should be back sooner rather than later. … Weegar will return after missing seven games because of an illness. ... Matheson is day to day.


Stat pack

Carolina has allowed two goals or less six times in its past eight games, including three shutouts. ... The Hurricanes are 11-for-11 on the penalty kill in their past four games and 20-for-21 in their past eight. … Florida has outshot its opponent in six of its past seven games.

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