In what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference final, the Florida Panthers return to action against the high-powered Carolina Hurricanes all in front of a national television audience on TNT.
The Panthers and Hurricanes account for the second and third-best point percentage in the NHL respectively — and there is mutual respect on both sides.
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour called Florida “the juggernaut team” during All-Star weekend according to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox.
“That management (group) has done a great job in the way (it’s) assembled that team,’’ he said. “There are no weaknesses.
Morning Skate Updates
- Patric Hornqvist returns to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 18. He slots back in on the fourth line with Eetu Luostarinen and Ryan Lomberg.
- Noel Acciari was activated off of LTIR but will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday against Carolina. He could return at some point during the road trip per Brunette.
- Owen Tippett remains on the second line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett, Maxim Mamin remains on Injured Reserve for now while Acciari, Joe Thornton, and Frank Vatrano are the healthy scratches.
- Olli Juolevi was also activated off of Injured reserve, but Lucas Carlsson skated on the third pair during morning skate per Jameson Olive.
- To make room for Hornqvist, Acciari and Juolevi, the Panthers placed Joe Thornton on IR.
- Sergei Bobrovsky starts in net for the Panthers, Jonas Johansson backs him up. Spencer Knight remains in Charlotte, likely for the remainder of the road trip.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT CAROLINA HURRICANES
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM, SiriusXM.
- Fanduel’s NHL odds — Carolina favored: Puck line (-1.5, +176); Money line (-118); Over/Under 6.5 (-110/-110)
- Last season: Carolina won 6-0-2
- All-time regular season series: Carolina leads 69-45-9, 11 ties
- This season — Florida 2-0: @Florida 5, Carolina 2 (Nov. 6), Florida 4, @Carolina 3 OT (Jan. 8)