Hurricanes eyeing third straight win vs. rival Panthers

Florida (26-19-8) at Carolina (27-22-5), 7:00 pm EST

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) — The Carolina Hurricanes will
seek their third consecutive victory when they host the Florida
Panthers on Thursday.

The Hurricanes, who have won six of their last eight contests,
can overtake the Panthers for eighth place in the Eastern
Conference playoff race as they enter trailing their Southeast
Division rival by one point.

Sergei Samsonov recorded a power-play goal and three assists and
Tuomo Ruutu netted two tallies and set up another Saturday as
Carolina cruised to a 7-2 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes.

“We had a little meeting before the game and we tried to do the
simple things on the power play,” Samsonov said. “Take shots
when they are there, create some movement and go to the net
hard. We got some confidence early, and that got us going.”

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All-Star Eric Staal and Matt Cullen each scored a power-play
goal, Patrick Eaves also tallied and Chad LaRose added a
shorthander for Carolina, which went 4-for-5 with the man

The Panthers are coming off an emotional win on Tuesday.

Exactly one year after having his throat lacerated by a
teammate’s skate, Richard Zednik netted a pair of goals –
including the winner early in overtime – as Florida Panthers
rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Brett McLean, Nathan Horton and Ville Peltonen also scored for
the Panthers, who overcame a three-goal deficit in the third

Cory Stillman, Kamil Kreps and defenseman Nick Boynton collected
two assists apiece and Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves for Florida,
which has won six of its last eight contests.