NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Florida |
(Friday, March 10th)
Final Score: Florida 5, Carolina 3
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Olli Jokinen celebrated his new contract
extension with a two goal, one assist performance, as the Florida Panthers
blew past the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-3, at BankAtlantic Center.
Martin Gelinas and Jozef Stumpel each added a goal and an assist for the
Panthers, who beat the Hurricanes for the first time this season (1-4-1).
Roberto Luongo made 24 saves in the win while Chris Gratton also lit the lamp
as Florida has now answered a three-game losing streak with two straight wins.
Justin Williams and Rod Brind'Amour both scored for Carolina, which has now
lost two straight after a five-game winning streak. The Hurricanes lost 3-2 in
a shootout against Philadelphia on Wednesday to start their skid.
Martin Gerber stopped 34-of-38 shots faced in the loss.
The game featured the debut of forward Mark Recchi, who Carolina acquired from
Pittsburgh at the trade deadline. Recchi will help to alleviate the loss of
forward Erik Cole, who is out for at least the remainder of the regular season
with a fractured vertebra in his neck. He was kept off the scoreboard in the
The Panthers, meanwhile, were expected to possibly be sellers at the trade
deadline, but instead locked up two of their star players. Florida inked
Jokinen to a four-year contract extension while also extending Gratton for two
The transactions looked good on Friday, as both players factored into
Florida's first two goals.
Midway through the first, Jokinen sent a shot on net from the right side that
hit off of Gerber's pad and back into the slot. Gelinas was there, and the
forward put home the rebound from the left slot at 11:07 of the first to tie
the contest at 1-1.
The Panthers then took a 2-1 edge later in the opening frame. During a 2-on-1
rush, Juraj Kolnik slid a pass to Gratton, who was darting up the left side.
Gratton took the pass and shot the puck over a sliding Gerber's right pad with
3:45 left in the opening frame.
Carolina had grabbed a quick 1-0 lead 59 seconds into the game on Niclas
Wallin's fourth goal of the season, a shot through traffic from the point that
Jokinen extended Florida to a 3-1 lead at 9:11 of the second after his shot
from the left circle sailed over Gerber's glove and in. It was Jokinen's 30th
tally of the season.
Williams' made it a one-goal game again after his 22nd goal of the year. The
forward stole a clearing attempt along the left wall and quickly skated into
the circle before wristing a shot over Luongo's shoulder.
Jokinen, however, netted his second goal of the contest with 1:29 remaining in
the third to restore Florida's two-goal edge.
Brind'Amour's 25th goal of the season made things interesting after the
veteran center put home a loose puck from the slot with 40.8 ticks left and
Gerber on the bench.
However, Stumpel added an empty-net tally with 12 seconds left.
Doug Weight added two assists in Carolina's loss...Jokinen's assist was his
38th of the season...The Hurricanes finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while
the Panthers ended 0-for-2...Stumpel has three goals and five assists in his
last four games while Gelinas has tallied a goal in three straight
contests...Williams has three goals in his last three games, while Ray Whitney
had a seven-game point streak come to a halt for the Hurricanes.
03/10 22:24:44 ET