It's the third game of a critical six-game homestand tonight for the Canes, and Justin Peters will start in net for the third time.
Canes coach Kirk Muller was hopeful that Cam Ward might be able to play tonight against the Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division matchup. But Ward, who practiced Friday, was not on the ice at the morning skate.
Peters earned his first NHL shutout on Monday as the Canes ripped the Washington Capitals 5-0. He was the loser Thursday in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Ward has been slowed by a lower-body injury that initially was called a "slight tweak," but Muller said the situation with the Canes' No. 1 goaltender had not reached the point of being unsettling. He said Ward might be able to play Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
"It was actually encouraging today," Muller said. "I don't know if for sure (about) Tuesday but it's looking good. We're taking the precautions .. and I don't want to rush him in tonight. We're hoping for Tuesday."
Forward Chad LaRose, out the past four games with an upper-body injury, took part in the skate today -- that is until a power outage at the RBC Center put an end to it. Muller said LaRose might be able to play in the next couple of games.
LaRose filled in today for Jiri Tlusty on Eric Staal's line. Tlusty will play tonight.
The Panthers (27-20-12) are 0-3-1 in their last four and have been outscored 13-5. Like the Canes, they lost in a shootout Thursday, 3-2 against the Minnesota Wild.
The Canes have four games remaining against the Panthers, who are eighth in the NHL East and battling for the Southeast lead.
"We've been pushing hard and battling to stay in the mix with everybody," Muller said. "Quietly we haven't gone away. Let's be realistic. It's a no-brainer that if we're going to keep climbing and get in the hunt we've got to beat teams ahead of us. It starts tonight."
Peters had played just two games since Christmas when he started Feb. 17 against the San Jose Sharks, winning 3-2. Ward started last Saturday against the New York Islanders but was forced to leave the game after the second period with the injury.
Peters, who took the loss against the Isles, has allowed five goals on 101 shots in the four-game stretch to lower his overall save percentage to .926. He has a 2.61 GAA for the season.