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Sam Bennett Out for Florida Panthers Tonight vs. Hurricanes

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Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett, seen here congratulating Gus Forsling after he beat the Capitals in OT on Feb. 24, will not play tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Florida Panthers will again be without Evan Rodrigues tonight when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes — but second-line center Sam Bennett will not play, either.

Rodrigues has been out since blocking a shot in the final minute of the second period Saturday against the Calgary Flames.

Bennett also blocked a shot during Tuesday night’s come-from-behind win against the host Dallas Stars.

Coach Paul Maurice said both are being held out for precautionary reasons.

Jonah Gadjovich returns to the lineup for the first time since the win in New Jersey on March 4. Anton Lundell slides up to center the second line; Eetu Luostarinen will center the third.

“It is day-to-day and we will re-evaluate them for the Tampa game,” Maurice said.

The Panthers come into the game with wins in their past two, eight of nine and 18 of the past 21.

Carolina pulled out a 1-0 win against the Panthers in an epic defensive battle back on Feb. 22 with Sebastian Aho scoring with 18.9 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes have gone 5-4-1 since beating the Panthers. Tonight, they have deadline additions Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“I think we put up 45 (shots) on them but ended up with zeroes,” Maurice said. “Both goalies were really, really good. There was a break at the end of the game … I was really happy with our game. We hope to continue that tonight.”

The starting goalies: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Frederik Andersen.

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ CAROLINA HURRICANES

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: PNC Arena; Raleigh, N.C.
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: 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 5.5 (-120/-105)
  • Last Season — Regular Season: Carolina won 2-1; Eastern Conference Finals: Florida won 4-0.
  • This Season (Tied 1-1) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Hurricanes 2 (Nov.10). At Carolina: Hurricanes 1, Panthers 0 (Feb. 22); Thursday.
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 72-47-10, 11 ties
  • Postseason History: Florida 1-0 (2023 ECF)
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Tampa Bay, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (45-17-4) LINEUP

10 Vladimir Tarasenko // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 15 Anton Lundell // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

21 Nick Cousins // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 8 Kyle Okposo

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

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 41 Gustav Forsling 

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Steven Lorentz, Tobias Bjornfot

Injured: Aaron Ekblad (LBI), Evan Rodrigues (LBI), Sam Bennett (LBI

PROJECTED CAROLINA HURRICANES (39-20-6)  LINEUP

37 Andrei Svechnikov // 20 Sebastian Aho // 86 Teuvo Teravainen

59 Jake Guentzel // 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov // 88 Martin Necas

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

71 Jesper Fast // 82 Jesperi Kotkaniemi // 23 Stefan Noesen

74 Jaccob Slavin // 8 Brent Burns

76 Brady Skjei // 22 Brett Pesce

7 Dmitry Orlov // 5 Jalen Chatfield

31 Frederik Andersen

52 Pyotr Kochetkov

Scratched: Brendan Lemieux, Tony DeAngelo, Spencer Martin

Injured: Jack Drury (lower body)

Carolina Hurricanes lines courtesy NHL.com

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