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NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 Preview: Florida Panthers (1-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-1)



  • F Patric Hornqvist | Games Missed: 13
    Total Playoff Man Games Lost Due to Injury: 24
    Total Regular Season Man Games Lost Due to Injury: 239

Panthers 3, Hurricanes [4OT] – May 18 – PNC Arena
FLA Goals: Barkov (3), Verhaeghe (6), Tkachuk (6-OT)
CAR Goals: Jarvis (5-PPG), Noesen (4-PPG)
FLA Goalie: Bobrovsky (W) – 63 Saves
CAR Goalie: Andersen (L) – 57 Saves
FLA Shots: 60
CAR Shots: 65

Notes: Matthew Tkachuk scored his 2nd overtime goal of the playoffs at 19:47 of the fourth overtime period, ending the sixth-longest game in NHL history and the longest game in the histories of both Florida and Carolina…Tkachuk tied Dave Lowry for most points in a playoff year in club history (17)…Sergei Bobrovsky made 63 saves, the most saves in one game (regular season or playoff) in franchise history, his second consecutive game with at least 50 saves…Bobrovsky stopped all 55 shots he faced at even strength…Bobrovsky surpassed John Vanbiesbrouck for most all-time wins by a Florida goaltender (14)…Brandon Montour led all skaters with a franchise-record 57:56 time on ice, the ninth-most in NHL history since tracking began in 1997-98…Carter Verhaeghe (1-1-2) posted his second consecutive multi-point playoff game and eighth in his Panthers career, the most in club history…Aleksander Barkov posted two points (1-1-2)…Anthony Duclair notched two assists for his first career multi-point playoff game…Radko Gudas registered a franchise-record 12 hits…Florida improved to 5-0 in overtime in the 2023 playoffs, including four OT wins on the road…The Cats have won their past eight OT playoff games dating to Round 1, Game 3 at TBL in 2021, tied for the second-longest such streak in NHL history…Florida won their seventh consecutive road playoff game, tied for the second-longest such streak in NHL history…The Cats held their opponent to two goals against for the sixth consecutive game…FLA PP: 0-3, FLA PK: 4-6


  • May 8: F Mackie Samoskevich agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract

ALL-TIME vs. CAR: 56-56-11-15
ALL-TIME ROAD vs. CAR: 22-40-3-4
2022-23 vs. CAR: 1-2-0

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Matthew Tkachuk scored his second career Stanley Cup Playoffs overtime goal (and second in 2023, Round 1, Game 5 at BOS). With the goal, the Panthers improved to 5-0 in overtime in the 2023 postseason; four of the five extra frame victories have come on the road. Florida has won eight consecutive playoff games that have gone to overtime dating to Game 3 of Round 1 at TBL in 2021. The goal scorers of all eight tallies are currently active on the Cats (Carter Verhaeghe 3x, Matthew Tkachuk 2x, Nick Cousins, Sam Reinhart, Ryan Lomberg). Three of the goals have been series clinchers, which had not occurred in club history prior to Verhaeghe’s goal in Round 1, Game 6 at WSH in 2022. Tkachuk has factored on three overtime goals for the Panthers this postseason, one shy of the most by any player in a single playoff year in NHL history. Sergei Bobrovsky has earned the win in all eight OT games over the past three postseason runs.

The Cats enter Game 1 against Carolina having won each of their past six road playoff games dating back to Game 2 at BOS, the longest playoff road win streak in club history. Only 13 teams in NHL history had won at least six consecutive road postseason games, most recently Colorado in 2022 and Los Angeles in 2012. Over their six-game road win streak, the Cats have outscored their opponents 24-15, including overtime wins in Games 5 and 7 at Boston and Game 5 at Toronto. Sergei Bobrovsky has started and won each of Florida’s past five road games, logging a cumulative .942 save percentage over Florida’s five road outings since Game 5 at Boston. Over that span, Carter Verhaeghe leads Florida with eight road points (3-5-8), one of three Cats to post a point per game average on the road (also: Matthew Tkachuk [1-6-7], Aleksander Barkov [1-4-5]). The Panthers lead all teams with six road wins in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, owning a 6-1 road record.

Florida will face off against Carolina in the postseason for the first time. The two clubs share several connections, notably:

  • The series will be the first to feature three brothers (Eric, Marc and Jordan Staal) since Brent Sutter (CHI) defeated Rich & Ron Sutter (STL) in the 1992 Norris Division Semifinals. Jared Staal serves as an assistant coach for Florida’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.
  • Eric Staal, a first-round selection (2nd overall) by Carolina in the 2003 NHL Draft, led the Canes to the club’s first Stanley Cup in 2005-06, posting a team-high (and franchise record) 28 playoff points (9-19-28) during their run. The team was captained by current Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour. Eric would go on to serve as the Hurricanes captain from 2009-10 to 2015-16.
  • Florida Head Coach Paul Maurice served as bench boss for the Hurricanes franchise for 13 total seasons (1995-96 to 2003- 04, 2008-09 to 2011-12), including their first year in Raleigh after moving from Hartford prior to the 1997-98 season. Maurice coached the franchise to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final and 2009 Eastern Conference Final.
  • Florida Assistant Coach Tuomo Ruutu skated in 378 games with Carolina from 2007-08 to 2013-14, amassing 216 points (90-126-216).


The Hurricanes suffered a 3-2 loss against the Panthers in quadruple overtime at PNC Arena on Thursday, losing a playoff overtime game for the first time since 2021 in the longest contest in franchise history (139:47). Frederik Andersen set a franchise playoff record with a career-high 57 saves on 60 shots, and 17 of Carolina’s 19 players set new career highs for ice time. Seth Jarvis and Stefan Noesen each scored on the power play, and Jarvis tallied an assist on Noesen’s goal for his fifth career postseason multi-point outing.

Jake Gardiner, upper-body, missed 94 games (10/12-5/18)
Ondrej Kase, concussion, missed 93 games (10/14-5/18)
Max Pacioretty, torn Achilles, missed 49 games (1/21-5/18)
Andrei Svechnikov, torn ACL, missed 30 games (3/12-5/18)
2022-23 Regular-Season Man-Games Lost Due to Injury: 334
2023 Playoffs Man-Game Lost Due to Injury: 65

May 20 Florida 8 p.m. TNT/SN/CBC/TVAS Sports USA/HRN
May 22 at Florida 8 p.m. TNT/SN/CBC/TVAS Sports USA/HRN
May 24 at Florida 8 p.m. TNT/SN/CBC/TVAS Sports USA/HRN
May 26 (if nec.) Florida 8 p.m. TNT/SN/CBC/TVAS Sports USA/HRN

  • All times are Eastern | BSSO = Bally Sports South | HRN = Hurricanes Radio Network

May 20 Saturday No morning skate
May 21 Sunday PNC Arena 12 p.m.
May 22 Monday FLA Live Arena 11:30 a.m.
May 23 Tuesday FLA Live Arena 1:15 p.m.
May 24 Wednesday FLA Live Arena 11:30 a.m.

  • All times are local. Times and locations are subject to change.

— Carolina is facing Florida in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, marking the 15th different opponent to face the Whalers/ Hurricanes in the postseason.

— The Hurricanes and Panthers have met 138 times in their regular-season histories. Carolina holds a 71-46-11-10 overall record, including a 44-17-3-5 home record and a 27-29-8-5 road record.

— The two teams have also previously spent 15 seasons as divisional foes (Southeast Division, 1998-13; Central Division, 2020-21), with Carolina earning a 50-25-9-7 record in those campaigns (Florida: 32-37-9-13).

— The Hurricanes won the regular-season series 2-1-0 in 2022-23 (Panthers: 1-2-0).

— Carolina suffered a 3-0 loss against Florida at FLA Live Arena on 11/9. Antti Raanta stopped 34 of 36 shots faced in net.

— The Hurricanes posted a 4-0 win over the Panthers at PNC Arena on 12/30. Brent Burns (2a), Seth Jarvis (2a) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (1g, 1a) recorded two points, while Antti Raanta stopped all 19 shots faced in net for his second shutout of the season.

— Carolina clinched a second straight Metropolitan Division title with a 6-4 win over Florida at FLA Live Arena on 4/13. Sebastian Aho (1g, 1a), Brent Burns (2g), Shayne Gostisbehere (1g, 1a) and Seth Jarvis (2a) all registered two points, while Frederik Andersen made 30 saves in net.

— Shayne Gostisbehere is a native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and ranks first all-time in points among all NHL players born in Florida. He attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland for two years (2007-09) before transferring to South Kent Prep in Connecticut.

— Hurricanes Assistant Coach Jeff Daniels played 10 games with Florida from 1994-95.

— Panthers Assistant GM Paul Krepelka served as the Hurricanes’ Vice President of Hockey Operations for two seasons from 2018-20.

— Panthers Head Coach Paul Maurice served in the same capacity with Hartford/Carolina over two stints from 1995-03 and 2008-11. Maurice earned a 384-391-99-46 regular-season record and holds the franchise records for games coached and wins in the regular season. He also added a 25-28 record in the playoffs, leading the Hurricanes to two Conference Finals (2002, 2009) and one Stanley Cup Final (2002).

— Panthers Assistant Coach Tuomo Ruutu registered 216 points (90g, 126a) in 378 games with the Hurricanes from 2008-14. He was acquired from Chicago in exchange for Andrew Ladd on 2/26/08 and traded to New Jersey in exchange for Andrei Loktionov on 3/5/14.

— Zac Dalpe was selected by Carolina in the second round (45th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft and recorded 10 points (5g, 5a) in 41 NHL games with the Hurricanes from 2010-13. He also played parts of four AHL seasons with Albany/Charlotte from 2010-13, earning 139 points (68g, 71a) in 180 games. Dalpe was traded to Vancouver along with Jeremy Welsh in exchange for Kellan Tochkin and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (Josh Wesley).

— Gustav Forsling was acquired from Chicago along with Anton Forsberg in exchange for Calvin de Haan and Aleksi Saarela, and he tallied 26 points (8g, 18a) in 57 AHL games with Charlotte in 2019-20. Forsling was claimed on waivers by Florida on 1/9/21.

— Eetu Luostarinen was drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft and recorded one assist in eight games with Carolina in 2019-20. He was traded to Florida on 2/24/20 along with Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and Chase Priskie in exchange for Vincent Trocheck.

— Alex Lyon played in the Hurricanes’ organization in 2021-22. He spent most of the season with Chicago (AHL), posting an 18-7-3 record, 2.16 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and three shutouts in 30 regular-season games before going 9-3-0 with two shutouts in the playoffs to help lead the Wolves to a Calder Cup championship. Lyon also made two appearances with Carolina, earning a 1-0-1 record, 2.93 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

— Two of Jordan Staal’s brothers, Eric and Marc, play for Florida. Eric previously spent parts of 12 seasons with Carolina (2003-16), helping the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006 and captaining the team from 2009-16. He registered 775 points (322g, 453a) in 909 games with Carolina and ranks first in team history (since relocation) in games played, goals, assists, points, power-play goals (105), power-play points (252) and game-winning goals (47). Jordan’s third brother, Jared, also serves as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Checkers, Florida’s AHL affiliate.

Matthew Tkachuk scored the game-winning goal in Game 1 with just 0:13 remaining in the fourth overtime, ending the longest game in franchise history (139:47). Carolina’s previous record game lasted 114:47, as the Hurricanes fell to the Red Wings in Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Final. Thursday’s game also stood as the sixth-longest game in league history and marked the first quadruple overtime game since 8/11/20, when the Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets in the fifth overtime of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round. Seventeen of Carolina’s 19 players set career highs in ice time, with Paul Stastny (24:11) and Derek Stepan (20:25) the only exceptions.

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