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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Hurricanes

The Cats and Canes battle in Sunrise at BB&T Center.

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 10:00 AM / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Hurricanes
The Cats and Canes battle in Sunrise at BB&T Center.

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers


Hurricanes Panthers
Record 31-32-9 27-38-8
Points 71 60
Place 7th in Metropolitan 7th in Atlantic

Following a 3-2 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators, the Panthers are looking to extend their hot streak into game two of their three-game homestand. The Cats will be welcoming the Carolina Hurricanes to BB&T Center tonight for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. The Canes will be mustering up to full strength for a final push as their playoff hopes are currently on life support, meanwhile the Panthers will try to find the eye of the storm and play the spoiler role against their old Southeast Division rivals.

Tonight’s Matchup

Quotables

Brandon Pirri: On Roberto Luongo’s 37-save performance on Tuesday against the Senators:

"When he's on, there's not much getting through."

Hurricanes’ defenseman Jay Harrison: On Carolina’s 5-4 loss to the NY Islanders on Tuesday in which the team gave up four goals in the opening 11 minutes:

“It’s unexplainable, the effort we had. That’s not our game, not our preparation. We clearly were not ready to go. The accountability in the room…this can’t be tolerated. The effort and inspiration has to be better.”

Jesse Winchester: On the recent injuries he has sustained and on his return to the lineup Tuesday against Ottawa:

"The hand, I broke it blocking a shot to help save a win. This [groin injury] sucks. Just a fluky thing; never had a problem like that before. Hope it's my last but I'm healthy and ready to go; fresh legs and I'm chomping at the bit."

Hurri-cants

It took Carolina a while to muster up to Hurricane strength on Tuesday night against the Islanders. Their first period looked a bit more like a light drizzle as the team gave up four goals in the opening eleven minutes.

Netminder Cam Ward got the start in Raleigh but did not last long as he gave up three goals on nine shots before being pulled in favor of Anton Khudobin. There is nothing the twitter-ati loves more than criticising goaltenders, so let’s take a look at what they thought about Ward’s effort in net…

Red Hot Cats to Watch

Vincent Trocheck

Florida’s 20-year-old center submitted a dazzling performance on Tuesday against the Senators, scoring the game-tying goal in regulation while adding a highlight finish in the shootout. There is really not much more to say. Let’s look back at the clinic Trocheck put on during the shootout:

Nick Bjugstad

Nick Bjugstad recorded an assist in Florida’s win against Ottawa on Tuesday. The helper gives him 33 points (14-19-33) this season which puts him in seventh place among NHL rookies. He is ranked fourth overall among rookies in even-strength goals this season with 14.

Pick a Panther

(Selecting a Panthers’ player to score in tonight’s game)

Current streak: 0

A fun way to add some excitement to your Panthers’ viewing experience is by picking one of the Panthers’ goal scorers for every game. I will be picking players for the remainder of the season and if you want to play along, tweet your picks to @FlaPanthers, #PickaPanther. If you pick right, you might get a re-tweet (commitment is not really my thing)…

Pat’s Pick: Brandon Pirri

The Panthers’ precocious 22-year-old has three goals with his new team since his arrival from the Chicago Blackhawks. He will be playing in his first career game against the Hurricanes tonight. I am thinking he starts off with a bang.

Cats Stat Pack

26: All-time wins for the Panthers at home against the Hurricanes. They have a 26-10-8-8 record when taking on the Hurricanes in South Florida.

37: Number of saves made by Luongo on Tuesday against Ottawa. The game was his third 35-plus save performance since re-joining the Panthers. He has a .923 save percentage in his nine games with the Cats.

Enjoy tonight’s game. Go Panthers!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 65 22 17 -8 39
J. Huberdeau 62 10 28 2 38
J. Jokinen 64 6 29 0 35
A. Ekblad 65 11 23 7 34
B. Boyes 63 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 60 12 19 -10 31
J. Hayes 56 17 12 -5 29
B. Campbell 65 3 20 1 23
A. Barkov 54 10 12 -7 22
D. Kulikov 56 3 15 -5 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .921 2.37
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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