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For Panthers to win Central, they need to beat the Carolina Hurricanes

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Panthers Carolina Hurricanes
Sam Bennett of the Florida Panthers will get his first taste of the Carolina Hurricanes this season after being acquired by the Panthers at the trade deadline last week. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

In his time as coach of the Panthers, Joel Quenneville has never been one to put too much weight on an upcoming game. This two game series with the Carolina Hurricanes is different.

Quenneville and the Panthers definitely know what is at stake here.

“Thursday,” Quenneville said, “is going to be our biggest game of the year.”

The Panthers and Hurricanes come into this series tied in points atop the NHL’s Central Division. Carolina, however, has played two fewer games than Florida has.

If the Panthers want to win the division, and thereby avoid Carolina and Tampa Bay in the opening round of the playoffs next month, they need to figure out the Hurricanes and quick.

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