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Hurricanes, Panthers look to start winning streak

by NHL.com Staff

HURRICANES (6-11-3) at PANTHERS (7-6-6)

TV: FS-CR, FS-F

The Florida Panthers will be without forward Scottie Upshall against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, according to the Miami Herald, one of several lineup changes.

Upshall will be out at least a week with an apparent ankle injury, the Herald reported. The Panthers will also scratch forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Colby Robak.

Forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Dylan Olsen will reenter the lineup to fill those voids.

Goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to get the start as the Panthers seek their first win in three games. They lost 4-1 at home Monday to the Minnesota Wild after returning from a four-game road trip against Western Conference teams.

"Guys are not feeling great, a little bit of the flu bug going around," coach Gerard Gallant said via the Panthers website. "I think when you come off that road trip it's a natural thing where you just don't have the jump, and we didn't have much jump the other night. We didn't play as well as we wanted to play. I think we came on later in the third period so hopefully we'll be ready to go tonight and play a lot better."

The visiting Hurricanes continue a five-game road trip in which they've lost two of three. They've had three days off since a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche and now begin the East Coast portion of the trip.

"We always looked at it as two separate trips. We went on a three-gamer, and now we have a quick, two-game business trip, so it will be good to get back out playing," coach Bill Peters told the Hurricanes website. "It's a real good test for us. We're as healthy as we have been in a long time, so there is no reason not to play well. They're important points."

Goalie Cam Ward will start for the Hurricanes, who finish the trip Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the start of a home-and-home series.

Here are the projected lineups:

HURRICANES

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil

Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason - John-Michael Liles

Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Brad Malone, Jay Harrison

Injured: Jordan Staal (leg), Brett Bellemore (lower body)

PANTHERS

Sean BergenheimAleksander BarkovBrad Boyes

Jonathan HuberdeauNick BjugstadTomas Fleischmann

Jussi JokinenBrandon PirriVincent Trocheck

Tomas KopeckyDerek MacKenzieShawn Thornton

Brian CampbellAaron Ekblad

Willie MitchellDmitry Kulikov

Dylan OlsenErik Gudbranson

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Scratched: Jimmy Hayes, Colby Robak

Injured: Dave Bolland (lower body), Scottie Upshall (ankle)

Status report: Jordan, recalled Tuesday from Charlotte of the American Hockey League, replaces Harrison in the lineup. "We've got to find out if Michal Jordan can play at this level," Peters said. "The only way to do that is put him in and play him in the situations he's used to playing in: on the right side and on the power play." Forward Chris Terry was assigned to Charlotte on Tuesday on a conditioning assignment. Bellemore has been placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 7-10 days.

Who's hot: Skinner has two goals and two assists during a three-game point streak. Nestrasil scored Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche in his Carolina debut. … Kulikov has five assists in as many games for Florida.

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