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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 18 at Carolina

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against the Hurricanes.

Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 11:45 AM / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 18 at Carolina
Whether you\'re going to the game or if you can\'t make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight\'s matchup against the Hurricanes.

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against the Hurricanes.



PANTHERS (18-22-7) at HURRICANES (19-18-9)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 4-4-2; Carolina 5-4-1

HELLO OLD FOE: The two teams will meet for the 104th time but this time it will be just a little different. Now in different divisions with the Panthers in the Northeast and the Hurricanes in the Metropolitan, the two teams were division rivals in the Southeast dating back to the formation of the division in 1998-99. Each team has been dominant on home ice since the Panthers entered the league but they did split their four games on home ice last season (each 1-1).

FAST START NEEDED: On Tuesday, the Panthers scored 32 seconds in on their way to a 3-0 first period lead. On Thursday, the Sharks swarmed the Cats, outshooting the home team 21-8 in the opening 20 but thanks to Tim Thomas it was a 0-0 game. They'll need an effort much like Tuesday where they were the attacking team from puck drop, especially in a building (PNC Arena) that they've had trouble winning in to get the fans out of the game early.

STALL THE STAALS: Over the years it's been captain Eric Staal that has often given the Panthers fits but after a trade at the draft two summers ago, Florida has had to deal with not only Eric but his brother Jordan as well. Eric has led the way both on the ice and off, currently tied for first on the team in points with 35 (10-25-35) while brother Jordan is tied for third with 24 (10-14-24).

THE CAPTAIN'S TIME: Making his season debut six games ago on Jan. 4 against Nashville, Ed Jovanovski has eased his way back in after missing almost 10 months of action. The Panthers captain has seen his time average around 15-16 minutes a game but he's seeing a lot more power play and penalty kill time. Jovo Cop brought the offense on Tuesday with his first two points (both assists) in the 4-2 victory over the NY Islanders.

PROVIDING SUPPORT: It hasn't happened often of late as netminder Tim Thomas has played exceptionally over the last month and a half but Thomas gave up three goals against the Sharks on Tuesday despite finishing with 36 stops. It was just the second time in the last 10 games that the netminder allowed more than two goals (6-2-2). He's been a rock between the pipes but he'll need the help from the offense as they have scored more than one goal just twice in their last seven games. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 47 16 13 -2 29
A. Ekblad 47 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 44 9 17 0 26
J. Jokinen 46 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 45 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 36 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 36 5 10 -6 15
B. Campbell 47 3 12 0 15
D. Kulikov 42 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 12 8 .920 2.41
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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