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Florida Panthers GameDay

Florida Panthers Face Tough Hurricanes Squad With NHL Record on the Line



Florida panthers
Carolina Hurricanes' Derek Stepan (21) battles of for the puck with Florida Panthers' Brandon Montour (62) during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, May 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The Florida Panthers know that the target on their back has only grown larger as they come to Raleigh for an Eastern Conference Final rematch with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Florida is riding a six-game winning streak into Thursday night’s contest with a shot at matching an NHL-record 12-straight wins on the road.

The Panthers know what they are going up against with a Hurricanes team looking for revenge after they fell 5-2 in their first crack at it in November.

“It’s the guys in this locker room,” said Brandon Montour. “I don’t think we’re really watching the standings. We keep winning games and we keep playing our hockey, our style.

”Every team is going to come in and play their toughest game against us and everyone is trying to play their best hockey, so as long as we keep getting better and growing as a group, come April, we will be a dangerous team.”

To this point, they have done a good job of maintaining their style of game.

The Panthers currently have the best point percentage in the NHL at .696 and have been doing it with a hard, physical style that works in the playoffs to boot.

As they learned in the Eastern Conference Final last season, Carolina has the capability of doing the same.

There was a reason why every single one of the games in that series were decided by one goal.

“They are a really good team,” Gus Forsling said. “We saw them in the playoffs and we know what they bring.

“It’s going to be a lot of speed and a fast game out there.”

The Hurricanes are in an interesting spot at the moment.

They sit six points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers, but also have a five-point cushion over the rest of the pack in that division for second place.

In a situation like that, they are looking to build a game good enough to win in the playoffs just as much as the Panthers are.

And they are coming in almost as hot riding a three-game winning streak and wins in five of their past six games.

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“They are a good team, and obviously, it’s a tough road game,” Kevin Stenlund said.

“It’s a tough building to come into. We just have to focus on our game, stay connected and we’ll do well.”


Per coach Paul Maurice, the Panthers will start Sergei Bobrovsky in net while making no lineup changes.

Florida will run with the same lines it started Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators with.

Per Hurricanes team reporter Walt Ruff, there is a “decent chance” Pyotr Kochektov gets the start in goal.

No official announcement was made as of 1 p.m. EST with the team not holding a morning skate.




  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: PNC Arena; Raleigh, N.C.
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2,WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Hurricanes Favored: Money Line (-120); Puck line (-1.5, +200); Over/Under 6.5 (+105/-130)
  • Last Season — Regular Season: Carolina won 2-1; Eastern Conference Finals: Florida won 4-0.
  • This Season (Panthers Lead 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Hurricanes 2 (Nov.10). At Carolina: Thursday; March 14
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-47-10, 11 ties
  • Postseason History: Florida 1-0 (2023 ECF)
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Washington, 6 p.m.


23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov// 13 Sam Reinhart

21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 17 Evan Rodrigues

12 Jonah Gadjovich // 82 Kevin Stenlund //94 Ryan Lomberg

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson// 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz, Will Lockwood

Injured: None


37 Andrei Svechnikov //20  Sebastian Aho // 71 Jesper Fast

58 Michael Bunting // 18 Jack Drury // 88 Martin Necas

48 Jordan Martinook // 11 Jordan Staal // 24 Seth Jarvis

23 Stefan Noesen //82  Jesperi Kotkaniemi //86  Teuvo Teravainen

74 Jaccob Slavin // 8 Brent Burns

76 Brady Skjei // 22 Brett Pesce

7 Dmitry Orlov // 5 Jalen Chatfield

52 Pyotr Kochetkov

41 Spencer Martin

Scratched: Brendan Lemiuex, Tony DeAngelo

Injured: Antti Raanta (lower-body), Frederik Andersen (blood clotting issue)

Hurricanes lines provided by

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