Hurricanes, Panthers seek solutions to separate issues
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes are stalling too often on offense.
The Florida Panthers aren't stingy enough on defense.
So when the teams meet Tuesday night at PNC Arena, this could be an ideal matchup for both sides.
The team that takes advantage of the other's misfortunes might be able to generate much-needed momentum.
"We need to finish better," Carolina coach Bill Peters said Monday. "We haven't scored very much. We need to play better."
The Hurricanes (4-5-3) are 0-2-2 in their past four games, including picking up one point across two road games last week.
"I think mentally they're fine, (but) there's some frustration," Peters said of his players.
This could be the time for the Hurricanes to crank up some offense. The Panthers (4-7-2) have allowed five or more goals in three of their past five games as part of an NHL-worst defense that allows 4.2 goals per game.
"It's tough to go back and forth with teams and get in shootouts every night," Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo said, referring to high-scoring games. "We have to make sure we have the right mindset and try to grind away."
The Hurricanes too often get off to less-than-desirable starts to games. That perhaps leads to a lack of relaxation around the net. So even on nights with a heavy shot volume, the results aren't following.
"That's been the frustrating part," Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said. "We're obviously not ready to go, and that could be myself, the leadership and the group we have, making sure everyone is ready to go. Just each individual player ready to work and work smart. We haven't started a game (well) in a very long time."
Whatever it takes, the Hurricanes can't wait around to pick up the pace, a message that Peters said should be clear.
"It's time," the coach said. "It's time to play quality hockey on a consistent basis. ... Let's play well and let the process unfold and give ourselves a chance."
Carolina needs to be better than its 1-2-2 mark through five home games.
"It's time to start winning at home and start taking advantage of matchups," Peters said.
Peters said Scott Darling will be Carolina's starting goalie Tuesday as the club begins a stretch of three of the next four games at home.
"We just have to come back here and have a good bounce-back game," Carolina left winger Brock McGinn said.
The Panthers begin a three-game road trip, possibly bad news with Florida holding a 1-4-0 record away from home.
"We want to build some momentum on the road here," Florida center Colton Sceviour said.
Last November, the Panthers fired then-coach Gerard Gallant after a game in Raleigh.
First-year Florida coach Bob Boughner is a former Carolina defenseman.
Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce missed the two-game road trip with a concussion sustained last week in practice. He returned to the ice in a non-contact situation for Monday's workout.
The Panthers announced Monday that they assigned forward Owen Tippett, a first-round draft pick in June, to the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Steelheads. The 18-year-old appeared in seven games with Florida and had one goal.
Updated November 6, 2017