Game Preview

Panthers-Hurricanes Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends

Panthers-Hurricanes Preview
Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes

After missing the playoffs last season by one point, the Florida Panthers understand the value of each game.

That's why they're disappointed with a two-game split to open the season.

Back in North America, the Panthers open Southeast Division play Friday night when they face the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center.

Despite going 6-2-0 over the final three weeks of 2008-09, and matching Montreal with 93 points, Florida lost the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot on a tiebreaker.

The Panthers (1-1-0) opened this season with a 4-3 shootout win over Chicago in Helsinki, Finland, but lost to the Blackhawks 4-0 on Saturday as the teams completed their two-game set there.

"A month ago I would have taken (a split), but after winning the last game you get greedy and want the four points," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're a skating, forechecking team and need legs. Part of it was that we didn't have the legs and part that Chicago played a great game and made us look bad."

With nine preseason games limiting its practice schedule, Florida has used the time off this week as another training camp.

"We did special teams this morning before practice and during practice we worked on details," DeBoer told the club's official Web site Wednesday. "We gave up too many shots (88), too many chances, to Chicago. We're working on our defensive game and coverage assignments, all the details of the game on how we have to play to be successful."

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun is expected to start both this contest and Saturday's home opener against New Jersey with Scott Clemmensen tending to a family issue.

Vokoun, who will be backed up by Alexander Salak if Clemmensen doesn't return by Friday, was 3-1-2 with a 2.30 GAA and one shutout versus Carolina last season.

The Hurricanes (1-2-0) are looking for consecutive wins after dropping their first two games. Carolina rebounded from a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia and Saturday's 7-2 defeat at Boston with a 2-1 shootout win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Tuomo Ruutu netted the clinching goal in the shootout, while Jussi Jokinen scored for the Hurricanes in regulation.

"It's a big win," said Jokinen, whose first-period power-play goal gave Carolina its first lead of the season. "The last two games we didn't play as good as we wanted, and I think we took a big step. We could play better, but wins are what counts and it's a big win."

Playing his first game of the season following September knee surgery, defenseman Joni Pitkanen assisted on Jokinen's goal.

Pitkanen left the game in the second period, but Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said it was merely a preventative measure.

"We took so many penalties in the second period and he got cold," Maurice told the Hurricanes' official Web site. "He needs to stay warm and stay on the ice."

Cam Ward made 29 saves against the Lightning after getting pulled Saturday against Boston.

Ward is 8-4-0 with a 2.95 goals-against average versus Florida in his career.

Panthers center Dominic Moore could be available after signing a one-year deal Monday. Moore had 13 goals and 32 assists playing for Toronto and Buffalo last season.

Carolina is 15-2-0 at home against Florida since Feb. 16, 2004.

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 06 '10 CAR 1 at FLA 4 K. Kreps
Feb 09 '10 FLA 1 at CAR 4 J. Pitkanen
Dec 19 '09 FLA 2 at CAR 3 S. Samsonov
Dec 18 '09 CAR 3 at FLA 6 R. Olesz
Nov 04 '09 CAR 0 at FLA 3 S. Reinprecht
Oct 09 '09 FLA 2 at CAR 7 J. Jokinen
M. Frolik3213+0200
V. Koistinen3112+2400
S. Reinprecht3022-1000
S. Matthias3101+1000
D. Booth3101-2000
D. Seidenberg3011+0000
K. Ballard3011+0200
C. Stillman3011-1200
B. McCabe3011-1200
J. Leopold3011-1200
K. Kreps3000+1000
S. Weiss3000-3000
N. Horton3000-3000
R. Dvorak3000-4200
G. Campbell3000-4000
R. Olesz3000-4000
D. Kulikov3000-5200
B. Allen3000-6400
T. Vokoun31-2-0121144.31.895
A. Salak10-0-0276.67.714
J. Jokinen4224+1211
S. Walker4112+4200
R. Brind'Amour4112+3200
M. Cullen4112+1600
T. Ruutu4112+0000
S. Samsonov4022+01000
R. Whitney4101+2200
T. Kostopoulos4101+01400
E. Staal4101+0810
J. Harrison3101+2900
N. Wallin4011+3400
J. Corvo4011+1400
T. Gleason4011+11900
A. Ward4011-1000
J. Pitkanen1011+0400
S. Yelle4000+0200
A. Alberts4000+01100
C. LaRose4000+0200
T. Conboy2000-1500
E. Cole2000-2000
C. Ward42-2-091122.54.920
M. Leighton10-0-03146.21.786