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Hurricanes again seek first win of season vs. Panthers

Oct 11, 2006 - 2:44 PM Carolina (0-2-1) at Florida (1-1-0) 7:30 pm EDT

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Ever since they raised their Stanley Cup championship banner, the Carolina Hurricanes have been unable to reach the winner's circle.

Eric Staal looks to get back on track for the Hurricanes, who try to snap their three-game losing streak and post their first win of the season Wednesday against the Florida Panthers.

After scoring 45 goals and adding 55 assists in the regular season, the 21-year-old Staal led the league with 29 playoff points last spring to help Carolina claim its first title.

Staal opened the campaign with a goal in Carolina's season-opening loss to the Buffalo Sabres before being held without a point against the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals.

Andrew Ladd and Niclas Wallin netted their first tallies of the season and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Cam Ward surrendered three third-period goals for the Hurricanes in Saturday's 5-2 defeat to Washington.

Florida opened the campaign with an eight-goal outburst Friday against the Boston Bruins but has since managed just one in a pair of defeats.

Stephen Weiss scored his first goal of the campaign and Todd Bertuzzi recorded his fourth assist for the Panthers, who fired 48 shots on goal in Monday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Carolina won six of the eight encounters with Florida last season, including a 3-2 triumph in their last matchup March 31.

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