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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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