(SportsNetwork.com) - Wins haven't been easy to come by this season for either the Carolina Hurricanes or Florida Panthers, but the former club is counting on its recent dominance in this series to help them pick up a road win on Wednesday.
Carolina is just 6-11-3 on the season and 1-5-0 over its last six trips to the ice. The Hurricanes, however, have won three straight and five of the past six encounters against the Panthers overall and also have claimed the last two meetings in the Sunshine State.
The 'Canes are playing the fourth part of a five-game road trip, a swing that began with a 6-4 win in Dallas before Carolina suffered consecutive regulation losses at Los Angeles and Colorado. All told, the Hurricanes are 2-8-2 on the road this season.
Carolina was competitive against both the Avalanche and Kings, but failed to earn a point from either contest. L.A. recorded a 3-2 win in Thursday's clash and the Hurricanes lost a 4-3 decision against the Avs despite holding leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the opening period.
The Hurricanes allowed Colorado to score the final three goals on Saturday, with Erik Johnson cutting the deficit to 3-2 in the second period before Jarome Iginla and Zach Redmond put the Avs ahead with a goal apiece in the final stanza.
Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Nestrasil and John-Michael Liles all scored for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward made 31 saves in a losing effort. Nestrasil was playing in his first game for Carolina after being claimed off waivers from Detroit on Thursday.
"We started this game the way we wanted to," said Liles. "Give them credit for battling back because I think we let our foot off the gas."
Ward is 15-10-2 with a 2.91 goals against average in his career against Florida and he is expected to start tonight.
The 7-6-6 Panthers have lost two straight and three of their last four tilts and are coming off Monday's loss to Minnesota in the opener of a three-game homestand. The 4-1 setback dropped Florida to 3-4-1 as the host this season.
Shawn Thornton netted Florida's lone goal against the Wild and Roberto Luongo made 34 stops in defeat.
"They were all over," Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad said. "We just couldn't find a way to get the offense going."
Florida has lost two straight and three of its last four home games.
The Panthers will complete their stay at BB&T Center in Saturday's test against Ottawa. Carolina is set to cap its swing the same night in Pittsburgh.