Series (Game 4 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

Panthers 2

(15-15-7, 37 pts)

Hurricanes 3

(9-20-6, 24 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 19, 2009

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
FLA 0 0 22
CAR 2 1 03

M. Cullen (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Ward (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .933

T. Kostopoulos (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Panthers-Hurricanes Preview


The Florida Panthers are hoping another matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes will provide the perfect start to their three-game road trip.

The Panthers look to beat the Hurricanes for the second straight night Saturday when the Southeast Division rivals complete a home-and-home series at the RBC Center.

Florida (15-14-7) is seeking a season-high fourth straight win after beating Carolina 6-3 on Friday. After the Hurricanes (8-20-6) scored first, the Panthers answered with six straight goals to bring their total to 17 during their three-game winning streak.

Rostislav Olesz and Radek Dvorak each scored in a 37-second span early in Friday's third period and also each had two assists.

"Just want to keep rolling here," said Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe, who scored for the second consecutive game. "We've got three games before the (Christmas) break and looking to get another big win (Saturday) and keep this thing going."

Six different Panthers scored Friday. Dvorak is the only Florida player with a goal in every game of the win streak.

"We're finally starting to catch our stride," McCabe said. "I don't know if we want a break. It kind of stinks when you are playing well."

Florida improved to 2-1 against Carolina this season, with the home team winning each time. The Hurricanes, who have won their last two home games overall, beat the Panthers 7-2 on Oct. 9 on goals from seven different players.

Carolina is clearly a different team now, with Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Joe Corvo all sidelined due to injury.

"As banged up as we are, Carolina is even more banged up, so I think we're catching a wounded animal but to our credit we found a way to get the two points, which is the critical part," Florida coach Pete DeBoer said.

Patrick Dwyer, Scott Walker and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes on Friday, but it wasn't enough for Carolina to avoid its ninth loss in 12 games.

"I think we just go in and try and play our game, play our system, we've been playing a lot better lately, but we obviously didn't get the job done tonight," Walker said.

The Panthers did not get off to a great start in a scoreless first period. After Dwyer scored the game's first goal, Jordan Leopold answered 62 seconds later and Florida began to dominate.

"I thought the first period was a little bit of a feeling out for both teams," DeBoer said. "I wasn't disappointed with the way we played, I thought we could have been a little more assertive."

Cam Ward stopped 21 of 26 shots for the Hurricanes before he was replaced by Manny Legace in the third period. Legace faced two shots, allowing one goal.

"We had a hard time doing a lot of basic things, moving the puck," coach Paul Maurice said. "They were just better than we were tonight at the end of the day."

The Hurricanes are starting a four-game homestand.