Carolina (18-15-6) at Florida (18-18-2)

Fair Currently: Sunrise, FL
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Fri Jan 7, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Panthers came out on top during a thrilling overtime game in their last meeting with Carolina. It won’t take long for the Hurricanes to get their shot at revenge.

The Southeast Division foes meet for the second time this week and fifth time this season Friday night in Florida.

Bryan Allen(notes) scored 1:16 into the extra session Monday to give the Panthers a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes. Carolina trailed 3-1 before Zach Boychuk(notes) and Jay Harrison(notes) scored third-period goals to even the score with 10:18 left.

“You could see we hit the wall there in the third period a little bit,” Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. “But we found a way to win, and that’s the big thing.”

The Panthers (18-18-2) had picked up points in five straight games, going 3-0-2 before losing 3-2 to Atlanta on Wednesday. Chris Higgins(notes), who has two goals and an assist in four meetings with the Hurricanes this season, scored his eighth goal and had an assist in the defeat.

“We’ve been playing some good hockey recently,” said Higgins, who matched his goal-scoring total in 67 games with Calgary and the New York Rangers last season. “We didn’t play well for most of this game, but we’ve just got to put in a full 60 minutes again. Took a couple of minutes off, let them take the lead and couldn’t recover.”

Tomas Vokoun(notes) made 12 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by Scott Clemmensen(notes) early in the second period.

Florida and Carolina have split four meetings this season, and Vokoun didn’t fare well in either of his starts.

He gave up two goals on seven shots and was pulled in the first period Nov. 5, giving way to Clemmensen as the Panthers rallied for a 7-4 win. Vokoun then made 30 saves in a 4-3 loss on Dec. 15.

Clemmensen is 2-1-0 with a 2.86 goals-against average this season against the Hurricanes (18-15-6), who will try to avoid a season high-tying third straight loss.

After falling to the Panthers on Monday, Carolina lost 2-1 to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Eric Staal(notes) scored his 19th goal with 6:14 to play while Cam Ward(notes) made 33 saves in his seventh straight start, and is 3-2-2 with a 2.56 GAA during that stretch.

“It was a tough game,” coach Paul Maurice said. “Cam was very good. A 1-0 game might have been predictable the way the game was played. I thought it was just that it got to overtime.”

Ward has started all four meetings against the Panthers this season, giving up a total of 14 goals. He was pulled Dec. 15 after allowing two goals in less than two minutes and backup Justin Peters(notes) made 21 saves in the victory.

It is unclear who will start Friday.

Carolina forward Tuomo Ruutu(notes) has three goals and an assist in the four meetings this season with Florida, including two goals last month. However, he has gone without a point in his last two games after posting two goals and six assists in a four-game streak from Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

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Friday, Jan 7