Skip to Main Content

Panthers-Hurricanes Preview @NHLdotcom

The Florida Panthers haven't been a very good road team this season. Their play at Carolina lately has been far worse.

The Panthers look to beat the Hurricanes on the road for the first time in nearly five years when the Southeast Division rivals meet on Saturday night for the fourth time this season.

Poor road play is one reason why Florida (8-11-1) has missed the playoffs each of the last six seasons. The Panthers are a combined 24-42-16 away from home over the last three years, and that trend has continued in 2007-08 as they're 2-7-1 while scoring just 19 goals.

Since posting a 4-2 victory at Buffalo on Nov. 2, Florida is 0-2-1 in its last three away from home.

Ending that skid won't be easy because the Panthers are winless in 13 straight visits to Carolina, going 0-11-1 with one tie. Their last road win in the series was a 2-0 victory on Dec. 6, 2002.

Florida hasn't had much success against the Hurricanes regardless of location, losing nine of the last 10 meetings overall. The one victory, though, was a 4-2 home decision on Oct. 31.

Richard Zednik and Kamil Kreps scored and Tomas Vokoun stopped 26 shots as the Panthers ended a four-game skid with a 2-1 victory over Washington on Thursday.

Florida held onto the lead this time after giving up a goal with 1:06 remaining in a 4-3 loss to Carolina on Monday and a goal with three seconds left in regulation of a 3-2 overtime loss at Atlanta the next night.

"We might have been a little tight," Kreps said. "It was a big game for us. We were trying not to make a mistake."

Vokoun was at his best in the third period when he turned away all 10 shots.

"For me personally, every game is important," he said. "For everybody's confidence, it was important to stop (the losing streak). It's disappointing when you don't, especially the way we lost the last few games."

Carolina (11-6-3) hopes to avoid its season-high third straight loss after it was beaten 3-0 by visiting Atlanta on Friday.

"We got off to a bad start," defenseman Mike Commodore said. "You get down 2-0 against Atlanta or any team, and it's tough to come back. We have the personnel in here to do it, (but) just couldn't get anything going."

Cam Ward stopped 22 shots for the Hurricanes, who were blanked for the second time this season after going scoreless on four power-play opportunities.

"When our power play doesn't work, suddenly we don't score a lot of goals," captain Rod Brind'Amour said.

Carolina is only 4-5-0 in divisional play while 7-1-3 against other teams.

Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette could start Ward on back-to-back nights, but backup John Grahame is 6-0-0 with a 2.20 GAA in his last six starts against Florida.

The Hurricanes will be without right wing Erik Cole for a third straight game on Saturday. Cole was placed on injured reserve Friday after injuring his neck in Monday's victory over Florida and is eligible to return Nov. 21 against Philadelphia.

View More