NHL

Tue, Mar 1, 2011 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Panthers-Hurricanes Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers have been trading partners twice in the past week, with the playoff-hopeful Hurricanes acquiring a pair of veterans for the stretch run while the Panthers begin to rebuild.

Getting defenseman Bryan Allen from Florida wasn't the only good news Carolina received Monday.

The Hurricanes learned they'll have captain Eric Staal back from a one-game absence Tuesday night against the visiting Panthers, who will see Allen and Cory Stillman on the ice for their Southeast Division rivals.

Carolina (29-25-9) has a two-point lead over Buffalo for the Eastern Conference's No. 8 spot, and it's made two deals in the past week designed to help it get to the postseason.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes sent Ryan Carter and a fifth-round draft pick to Florida (26-29-7) for Stillman, who had more playoff points than anyone but Staal while helping lead Carolina to the 2006 Stanley Cup.

The teams hooked up for another deal just before Monday's deadline, with the Hurricanes acquiring the 6-foot-5, 226-pound Allen for Sergei Samsonov, who was made expendable with the addition of Stillman and the presence of rookie Jerome Samson.

"We like (Allen's) experience, we like his size and he can play with some grit," general manager Jim Rutherford told the Hurricanes' official website. "With having that big reach, he can kill penalties very well."

While Allen's arrival should boost a penalty-kill unit that's coming off its best month of the season - Carolina allowed just five goals in 37 chances (13.5 percent) - the fact that Staal won't miss any extended time was even bigger news Monday. Staal suffered an upper-body injury in Friday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh that kept him out of Saturday's 4-3 loss at Montreal.

But he was back on the ice at practice Monday, joining Stillman and Erik Cole on the team's top line.

"He's ready to play," coach Paul Maurice said. "He felt good the next day after the (Pittsburgh) game and felt better the next day. He's ready to go."

Samsonov, who had just one goal in his final 15 games with Carolina, should be available for the Panthers against his old team.

It was a busy February for Florida general manager Dale Tallon, who began the month by dealing Michael Frolik to Chicago and ended it by making four trades Monday leading up to the deadline.

Among those leaving were defenseman Dennis Wideman and forwards Chris Higgins and Radek Dvorak, the latter of whom brought back winger Niclas Bergfors from Atlanta.

Bergfors has a goal in each of three career visits to Raleigh.

In all, the Panthers acquired 11 players and four draft picks in February. They'll have seven picks in the first three rounds of the 2011 entry draft.

"Today, and the previous few weeks, were extremely significant for the Florida Panthers franchise," Tallon told the team's official website. "We acquired a number of assets that fit our plan, we raised our number of 2011 draft picks to a total of ten, and we put ourselves in a position to be aggressive in pursuing top notch free agents come July 1."

Florida fell to 2-5-0 in its past seven games with a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Sunday that left it eight points behind Carolina.

The Hurricanes are 3-1-1 against the Panthers this season. Cole has a point in all five games and has totaled four goals and three assists.

Tagged: Hurricanes, Panthers, Cory Stillman, Bryan Allen, Eric Staal, Jerome Samson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt