Carolina Hurricanes host Florida Panthers to begin the third round of NHL playoffs

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Florida Panthers (42-32-8, fourth in the Atlantic Division) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (52-21-9, first in the Metropolitan Division)

Raleigh, North Carolina; Thursday, 8 p.m. EDT

STANLEY CUP SEMIFINALS: Hurricanes host series opener

BOTTOM LINE: The Carolina Hurricanes host the Florida Panthers to open the Eastern Conference finals. The teams meet Thursday for the fourth time this season. The Hurricanes went 2-1 against the Panthers during the regular season. In their last regular season matchup on April 13, the Hurricanes won 6-4.

Carolina has a 33-11-3 record at home and a 52-21-9 record overall. The Hurricanes have a 25-7-6 record in games decided by a goal.

Florida is 42-32-8 overall and 25-20-3 on the road. The Panthers lead NHL play with 389 total penalties (averaging 4.7 per game).

TOP PERFORMERS: Sebastian Aho has 36 goals and 32 assists for the Hurricanes. Jesper Fast has five goals and three assists over the last 10 games.

Carter Verhaeghe has 42 goals and 31 assists for the Panthers. Matthew Tkachuk has four goals and nine assists over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Hurricanes: 7-3-0, averaging 3.8 goals, 5.5 assists, 3.5 penalties and 9.7 penalty minutes while giving up 2.6 goals per game.

Panthers: 7-3-0, averaging 3.3 goals, 5.7 assists, 4.7 penalties and 13.1 penalty minutes while giving up three goals per game.

INJURIES: Hurricanes: Ondrej Kase: out (concussion), Jake Gardiner: out (hip/back), Max Pacioretty: out (achilles), Teuvo Teravainen: out (hand), Andrei Svechnikov: out for season (knee).

Panthers: Ryan Lomberg: out (upper body), Patric Hornqvist: out (concussion).