GAME: Carolina Hurricanes (28-31-13-6) at Florida Panthers (27-33-14-4).
TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Roberto Luongo will be back in goal for the Florida Panthers when they host
the surging Carolina Hurricanes.
Luongo should be well-rested after setting the NHL single-season mark for
saves during a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes on Thursday. Luongo made 42 saves to
give him an NHL-record 2,219 on the season. That broke the mark of 2,214 set by
Toronto's Felix Potvin in 1996-97.
Luongo has also set career highs for wins (24), goals-against average (2.36
GAA), shutouts (7) and save-percentage (.933).
Since January, he's been at his best when he's been busy - the Panthers are
6-1-3-1 when Luongo has faced at least 40 shots, the only regulation loss among
them coming Thursday against Carolina.
Florida has lost five in a row overall, including a 3-0 loss to the Atlanta
Thrashers on Saturday.
Steve Shields, starting in place of Luongo, allowed three goals on only 19
shots - the lowest total Florida has allowed this season.
Luongo rested after facing a total of 95 shots in his two previous games.
The Hurricanes are playing some of their best hockey despite being out of
the playoff picture. Carolina has 18 points in the last 13 games and has lost
only once in regulation in nine games (6-1-0-2).
Rookie defenseman Allan Rourke ended New York goalie Rick DiPietro's shutout
streak in the first period and the Hurricanes went on to beat the Islanders 3-2
Sean Hill and Jaroslav Svoboda also scored for the Hurricanes as they picked
up their second straight win.
Kevin Weekes made 36 saves, including 16 in the third period, to beat his
former teammates. Weeks has been steady all season, going 23-28-10 with and
posting six shutouts.
STANDINGS: Hurricanes - 75 points, 3rd place, 28 PB, Southeast Division.
Panthers - 72 points, 4th place, 31 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Hurricanes - Josef Vasicek, 18 goals; Justin Williams, 30
assists; Vasicek and Williams, 41 points; Jesse Boulerice, 125 PIM. Panthers -
Olli Jokinen, 23 goals, 27 assists and 50 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 158 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 27): Hurricanes - Power play: 10.9 percent (40
for 368), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.2 percent (282 for 343), 23rd
(tied). Panthers - Power play: 16.2 percent (47 for 291), 15th (tied). Penalty
killing: 86.2 percent (306 for 355), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Hurricanes - Weekes (23-28-10, 6 SO, 2.26 GAA); Arturs Irbe
(5-1-1, 0, 1.96). Panthers - Luongo (24-32-13, 7, 2.36); Steve Shields (3-5-1,
SEASON SERIES: Hurricanes, 2-1-1.
LAST MEETING: March 25; Hurricanes, 3-2. At Raleigh, N.C., Vasicek scored
the go-ahead goal with 11:51 left to lead the Hurricanes. Rod Brind'Amour and
Kevyn Adams also scored for Carolina.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hurricanes - 15-15-5-4 on the road; Panthers - 15-14-6-3