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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  -
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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


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."


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!





1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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