Hurricanes look to stay hot against division-rival Panthers

Carolina (21-15-5) at Florida (18-16-6) 7:30 p.m. EST

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) — The Carolina Hurricanes will spend
most of the rest of the month on the road. On Tuesday, they get
things started against one of their key division rivals.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Hurricanes open up a
stretch featuring seven of eight games on the road as they head
south to take on the Florida Panthers.

Things will only get tougher, as they proceed to go into enemy
territory against some of the top Eastern Conference foes –
including Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers.

For now, the ‘Canes can focus on the Panthers, their Southeast
Division foe that they’ve defeated two of three times this
season. Overall, they haven’t lost since December 27, rattling
off four straight wins – including three in a row by one-goal
margins. On Monday, they jumped to a 3-0 lead before
surrendering a pair of late third-period goals, ultimately
surviving, 3-2.

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Cam Ward made 26 stops in the victory.

The Panthers, who lost their last three games of 2008, have
gotten off to a better start in 2009. They have won two of
their last three, with their only loss coming in a 6-5 shootout
against Montreal on January 4. Two nights later, Stephen Weiss,
Ville Peltonen and Gregory Campbell registered a goal and an
assist apiece to lead the way in a 4-2 triumph over Toronto.