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Florida Panthers GameDay

GameDay No. 14: Lines, Betting Odds for Hurricanes at Panthers

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Eric Staal will play in his 1,300th NHL game tonight for the Florida Panthers with two of his brothers sharing the ice with him. — Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — It is another milestone night for Eric Staal and it will be a special one for the Florida Panthers center as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

Not only does Staal hit 1,300 regular season NHL games tonight, but he does so against the team it all started with.

As a special bonus, two of his brothers will be on the ice with him: Marc with the Panthers and Jordan with the Hurricanes.

”It is the expanse of an incredible career from coming in as a rookie to a rise to stardom and captaincy and the Stanley Cup, Gold medals and World Championships,” said Paul Maurice, Staal’s first coach with Carolina back in 2003.

”There’s a sense of good hockey karma here. It’s 1,300 which is an unusual milestone and it’s against Carolina with two of his brothers. They have earned that karma for sure.”

This will be Staal’s seventh game with the Panthers as 909 of his 1,299 NHL games came with the Hurricanes — the team which made him the second-overall pick of the 2003 draft and the one he won the Stanley Cup with in 2006.

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Expect all three of the Staal brothers to be on the ice together at least when the game starts.

It should make a nice photo op.

No word if Jared Staal, an assistant coach with Florida’s Charlotte Checkers, will be there as well.

“It feels like a blink of an eye when you talk about when I started in the league,” Eric Staal said following Wednesday’s morning skate. “You treat it as another one we want to get into the win column, prepare as much as you can to contribute and try and get the W.”

Spencer Knight (4-1–0) will be back in net for the Panthers on Wednesday night a day after Maurice said the Panthers want to get one of their two goals really playing well.

This will be the second time in a just over a week Knight gets the start in consecutive games for the Panthers. He started Florida’s previous home game against Ottawa and then the following one in Arizona; Knight got the win for Florida Sunday in Anaheim.

“I love his numbers because he wins hockey games,” Maurice said of Knight. “I don’t care what it looks like when you are winning games. … I want to allow these guys to get on a bit of a run. We’re not looking for someone to run 15 games because it makes no sense to run a goalie — although we’d love to win 15 games.

“Two or three games to get a goalie feeling good and Spencer looks like he is running that direction and he can take it. We will do what we think we can do to get one of these guys on a run.”

Matthew Tkachuk will serve the final game of his two-game suspension tonight and will return to the lineup Saturday against Edmonton.

Florida is also expected to activate Aaron Ekblad off LTIR before Saturday’s game with Maurice saying Patric Hornqvist may return in that game as well.

The Panthers kick off a five-game homestand tonight with all five opponents making the playoffs last season.

“I think we’re going to get Aaron back by the weekend and he is such an important part of this,” Maurice said. “We’ll get Matthew back and it looks like Patric is rounding back and is right around the corner. We’re getting healthy at the start of the homestand.”

PANTHERS ON DECK

CAROLINA HURRICANES AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • DraftKings odds — Carolina favored: Money Line (-115); Puck line (-1.5, +210); Over/Under 6.5 (-125/+105)
  • Last season: Florida won 3-0
  • All-time regular season series: Carolina leads 69-45-10, 11 ties

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 6 Colin White

94 Ryan Lomberg // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 9 Sam Bennett // 21 Nick Cousins

20 Aleksi Heponiemi // 12 Eric Staal // 38 Rudolfs Balcers

42 Gus Forsling // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

3 Matt Kiersted // 18 Marc Staal

30 Spencer Knight

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratch: Lucas Carlsson

Suspended: Matthew Tkachuk (final game)

Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles); Aaron Ekblad (LTIR-groin); Patric Hornqvist (d2d, UBI)

PROJECTED CAROLINA HURRICANES LINEUP

86 Teuvo Teravainen // 20 Sebastian Aho // 24 Seth Jarvis

37 Andrei Svechnikov // 82 Jesperi Kotkaniemi // 88 Martin Necas

48 Jordan Martinook // 11 Jordan Staal // 71 Jesper Fast

23 Stefan Noesen // 26 Paul Stasny // 18 Derek Stepan

74 Jaccob Slavin // 8 Brent Burns

76 Brady Skjei // 22 Brett Pesce

44 Calvin de Haan // 5 Jalen Chatfield

32 Antti Raanta

52 Pyotr Kochetkov

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