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Sunday Leftovers

Tupperware ATLANTA -- Just remembered that our NHL Extra stuff that usually runs on Sunday didn't run this Sunday.

Something about the Olympics or something.

Well, I wrote it, so I'm going to run it.

It ain't much, but it's free.

NHL EXTRA

FLORIDA PANTHERS WEEK AHEAD

PANTHERS @ THRASHERS

TUESDAY

7 P.M.

FSN

(*) Player to watch: Winger Niclas Bergfors came to the Thrashers in the blockbuster Ilya Kovalchuk deal and scored his first goal in Atlanta against the Panthers just a few days later.

GAMES VS. FLA: 5. GLS: 1. AST: 0.

(*) Analysis: The Thrashers may have handed the Panthers their most humbling loss of the season on Feb. 6 when the team spent all day traveling to Atlanta from Washington because of a massive snowstorm yet dominated the Panthers in a 4-2 win.

(*) Series: Thrashers lead 32-24-5

FLYERS @ PANTHERS

WEDNESDAY

7:30 P.M.

FSN

(*) Player to watch: Center Mike Richards knocked David Booth out for 45 games with a vicious open-ice hit in Philadelphia on Oct. 24 and then fought Florida captain Bryan McCabe in the rematch. This is Richards first trip to Sunrise since the hit.

GAMES VS. FLA: 18. GLS: 0. AST: 8.

(*) Analysis: The Panthers have won two of three against the Flyers this season but could be a very different looking team than previous editions. The trading deadline is 3 p.m. on Wednesday and the Panthers are expected to be active.

(*) Series: Flyers lead 37-24-4

HURRICANES @ PANTHERS

SATURDAY

7 P.M.

FSN

(*) Player to watch: Center Eric Staal has been having a disappointing season for the Hurricanes. But like his team, things are looking up. The newest captain for the Canes, Staal had a strong Olympics for Canada and the Canes won five straight going into the break.

GAMES VS. FLA: 40. GLS: 9. AST: 19.

(*) Analysis: The home team has won each game in this series this season with the Hurricanes winning all three against Florida in Raleigh – including a 4-1 decision on Feb. 9 prompting general manager Randy Sexton to say “this is not the type of team we want.'' Among other things.

(*) Series: Carolina leads 44-32-11

CAT CONFIDENTIAL

QUESTION: What did you do on the Olympic break?

Coach Pete DeBoer: “I did get to Universal for a day with the kids. It was quite an experience. I took on the Hulk roller coaster. I had to gut it out. I wasn't going too, but when you 9 and 10 year olds are trash talking because you have that look of fear in your eye, you don't have much choice.''

Defenseman Keith Ballard: “I went to Key West for three days and then just came back. It was cold, bad weather for most of it, but there was one great day. It was a lot of fun.''

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (Germany): “Playing in the Olympics was great. We kind of knew we were going to lose so we just enjoyed it. We took in as much as we could. .-.-. It was a good time. The city was just, downtown, everyone was outside partying. It was a neat experience to be there.''

ASK A PANTHER

Topic: Going from Olympics back to the regular season doldrums

To: Tomas Vokoun

This is my job and I'm a professional. You have to be able to come back and do what I'm paid to do. That's stopping the puck. I'm worried about what our record is, but I have to do my job the best I can so I can sleep sound at night.


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