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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.



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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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