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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 ET / 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 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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