Power Players

The Carolina Hurricanes rarely have trouble taking advantage of power-play chances, especially on the road. The Florida Panthers, though, are one of the few teams that have been able to stop the Southeast Division leaders.

The Hurricanes look to avenge one of their two road losses as they continue their season series with the struggling Panthers on Monday night.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Carolina -116 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 6 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 60% of bets for this game have been placed on Carolina -116 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Carolina (10-4-3) has the No. 2 power-play unit in the NHL, converting 26.1 percent (24-for-92) of its chances, and has scored a league-best 14 goals with the man advantage on the road. The Hurricanes have failed to register a power-play goal in just four games, but those failures led to each of the team's losses this season.

Two of those contests were on the road, and one was a 4-2 loss to Florida (7-10-0) on Oct. 31 in which Carolina had a season-low three opportunities with the man advantage.

The Hurricanes and Panthers have split two games, with each team winning at home. Carolina was much more successful with the man advantage in the other meeting, going 2-for-4 in a 4-2 win on Nov. 3.

Carolina has won eight of its last nine (8-1-0) overall against Florida.

After losing 5-1 to Tampa Bay on Thursday night, the Hurricanes rebounded two days later to beat Atlanta 5-3. Carolina has a five-point lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division and a nine-point lead on Florida, which is tied for third with Atlanta.

Rod Brind'Amour had two goals and Justin Williams scored on the power play to lead the Hurricanes against the Thrashers. Carolina has scored four or more goals in six of its last eight games.

Brind'Amour leads the team with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists). He has points in 14 of 17 games, including each of the team's 10 wins, and has four goals and 14 points in his last nine games against the Panthers.

Ray Whitney had two assists for Carolina on Saturday, giving him seven goals and eight games in a nine-game points streak. He has two goals and five points in his last four games against Florida.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have been outscored 7-1 en route to losing their last two games. A 4-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday night was the eighth time Florida has given up four or more goals in a game this season.

"We have to put it all together," Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun said. "We haven't been able to do that. Some nights yes and some nights no. That's why we have more losses than wins."

Vokoun has been inconsistent in his first season with Florida, posting a 3.06 goals-against average. He did not have a GAA higher than 3.00 in any of his eight seasons with Nashville.

Vokoun is 5-2-1 with one tie in nine games against the Hurricanes, but has given up six goals in two starts against them this season.

Florida's defense will be without Bryan Allen for the third straight game. The defenseman hasn't played since sustaining a concussion against Tampa Bay on Monday night, but returned to practice Sunday and could play Thursday against Washington.

Panthers center Brett McLean, meanwhile, suffered a broken right hand blocking a shot in the second period Friday and is expected to miss several weeks.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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