Series (Game 2 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, October 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, November 4th
Game 3: Friday, December 18th
Game 4: Saturday, December 19th
Game 5: Tuesday, February 9th
Game 6: Saturday, March 6th

Hurricanes 0

(2-9-3, 7 pts)

Panthers 3

(5-7-1, 11 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 4, 2009

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
CAR 0 0 00
FLA 0 0 33

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: 1.000

S. Reinprecht (Panthers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Stillman (Panthers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Hurricanes-Panthers Preview


While the Florida Panthers are showing signs that their dismal start could be turning around, things just keep getting worse for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina's most recent victory came against the Panthers on Oct. 9, but the visiting Hurricanes will be without star center Eric Staal as they try to repeat the feat and avoid a 10th straight loss Wednesday.

The Hurricanes' worst start in franchise history has been shocking after the team reached the Eastern Conference finals last season and brought back most of its key players.

Carolina (2-8-3) has had major problems all over the ice during its 0-6-3 skid and shown little progress, having been outscored 16-4 in its last three games.

"I think we're all taken aback, and I think that's part of it," coach Paul Maurice said after Sunday's 5-1 home loss to San Jose. "I think that things that you've seen work well in the past haven't worked well. Areas that you expected to be strong in -- forechecking and controlling the puck in the offensive zone -- (haven't worked). That surprises the hell out of you."

Even Staal, who has totaled 327 points over the past four seasons while playing in every game, has struggled. He has five points in 13 contests and his streak of 349 consecutive games played will end after he left Sunday's loss with an upper-body injury.

"He'll play through most things but he couldn't go," Maurice said that night. The coach announced Tuesday that Staal is "week to week" and will likely miss at least three games.

Perhaps facing the Panthers (4-7-1) will help after Carolina beat Florida 7-2 last month for its only regulation win.

"We'll take a 7-2, don't get me wrong, but what we need is a grind win and a tight game at the end where we come out on top because we did the same things over and over again with great speed and great confidence," Maurice told the Hurricanes' official Web site.

The Panthers are certainly feeling more confident after winning on the road on consecutive nights over the weekend, including an impressive 4-0 victory over St. Louis on Saturday. They had lost eight of their previous nine.

"We came out with a conscious effort to make good decisions with the puck and be patient and have some composure," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think we did all those things."

Perhaps most promising was that Tomas Vokoun stopped 34 shots for his first shutout of the season on the heels of a sluggish start. Playing behind a defense that had allowed an average of 36.6 shots through his first nine appearances, Vokoun had a 3.65 goals-against average entering Saturday's game.

The Hurricanes chased Vokoun last month after scoring five goals on 26 shots, but the veteran is 4-1-2 with a 2.54 GAA when facing Carolina at home since he joined the Panthers.

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward has won four of his six starts at Florida.