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Panthers at Hurricanes preview

Florida seeking season-high fourth straight win; Mrazek in goal for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

PANTHERS (12-5-5) at HURRICANES (13-8-1)

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

The Game

The Florida Panthers will try for a season-high four-game winning streak when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.

The Panthers rallied from four goals down to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 in overtime on Thursday, the second time in nine days the Panthers won after trailing by four goals. They were down 4-0 entering the third period on Nov. 12 but defeated the Boston Bruins 5-4 in a shootout.

The Hurricanes lost 5-3 at home to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, ending their four-game winning streak.

Carolina has won four in a row against the Panthers and is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games against Florida, including a 6-3 win at BB&T Center on Oct. 8.


Players to watch

Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his past 10 games.

Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov has four goals and five assists during a six-game point streak.


They said it

"We're one of the highest-scoring teams in the League, and we've done it every game. It's not our issue. We've just got to find a way to be better defensively. If we can fix that and find a way to be better defensively, we're going to be tough to beat, there's no question about it." -- Panthers forward Brett Connolly

"They've added [goalie Sergei Bobrovsky]. That piece is huge. You get that confidence. They've had some high-scoring games. I think they're feeling pretty good about that because they know they've got a guy who, if they give up some grade-A [chances], he's going to be there for them. It changes your whole mindset as a group." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour on the Panthers


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Brian Boyle -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Denis Malgin -- Mike Hoffman

Dominic Toninato -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Anton Stralman

Mark Pysyk -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: None

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body), MacKenzie Weegar (upper body)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Andrei Svechnikov -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Ryan Dzingel -- Jordan Staal -- Warren Foegele

Nino Niederreiter -- Lucas Wallmark -- Martin Necas

Brock McGinn -- Eetu Luostarinen -- Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson -- Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: Haydn Fleury

Injured: Erik Haula (knee)


Status report

With each team playing the first of back-to-back games, neither held a morning skate.


Stat pack

Hoffman has three goals and four assists during a six-game point streak. Connolly has four goals in a three-game goal streak and six points (four goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak. Huberdeau has one goal and five assists during a three-game point streak. … Edmundson has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. Carolina leads the NHL in goals by defensemen with 18; the Hurricanes led the NHL in that category last season with 48.

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