NHL Game Summary - Florida at Carolina|
(Saturday, February 16th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Florida 4
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Ray Whitney's goal with 4:21 to play completed
a three-goal third period burst as the Carolina Hurricanes roared back from
two goals down to best the Florida Panthers, 5-4, at RBC Center and take sole
possession of first place in the Southeast Division.
Joe Corvo stormed into the Florida zone and slid a pass to Whitney, who one-
timed the puck between Horton's legs, beating Vokoun to put the Canes on top
"We just kept fighting," said Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette. "Resilient
I guess is the word. There was a lot of things that I thought, the goal called
back, the penalty shot, the guys just kept their nose to it and kept pushing
along. I liked the way we were playing when we were down 4-2. I liked the
things we were doing."
Trevor Letowski and Eric Staal added a goal and an assist each for the
Hurricanes, while Wade Brookbank tallied his first goal of the season in the
win. Carolina has won three straight and now has 64 points for the season, two
ahead of the Atlanta Thrashers, who lost 4-1 at the Islanders Saturday.
Andrew Ladd contributed a pair of helpers for the Canes, and John Grahame
allowed just one goal on 11 shots in relief of starter Cam Ward, who was
pulled late in the second period.
After Nathan Horton converted on a penalty shot to give the Panthers a 4-2
lead early in the third, Carolina crept back to within one goal when Staal's
shot from the side of the net banked off of Vokoun and into the net behind
Letowski then locked up the score at 4-4 when he redirected Tim Conboy's shot
from the point past Tomas Vokoun with nearly 12 1/2 minutes to play.
"You look at all their goals, a tip, a shot from the point right to the guy at
the front of the net that tipped it, and then a guy with a missed assignment
on the back check," said Panthers head coach Jacques Martin. "We got people
back, but not aware of the late guy."
Horton scored twice for the Panthers, who have lost three of their last four
overall. Brett McLean and Rostislav Olesz also lit the lamp in the losing
Vokoun stopped 27-of-32 shots, but allowed three third period goals and
absorbed the loss. Stephen Weiss added a pair of assists, but left the game
late in the second period with a hand injury and did not return.
"He hurt his hand so we'll get it evaluated," Martin said. "I don't know if
it?s serious yet. He got the assist on the power play goal and was part of it
on the third goal so it?s just unfortunate."
Carolina provided consistent pressure on Vokoun in the opening minutes,
cashing in when Brookbank picked up a loose puck behind the goal line, wrapped
around the net and stuffed a backhander home for his first tally of the season
just 3:21 into the game.
Florida evened up the score with its first shot of the night when McLean took
a drop pass from Ville Peltonen, cruised into the right circle and fired a
wrister past Ward.
Olesz put the Panthers on top with a power play goal eight minutes into the
second session. Steven Weiss powered his way from the point into the left
circle and blasted a shot that deflected off Olesz into the net.
Sergei Samsonov tied the game at two apiece just two minutes later, when
Trevor Letowski's shot caromed off Samsonov -- who was in a group of players
in front of the net -- and wobbled out of the reach of a sprawling Vokoun.
A little more than three minutes later, Horton faked out four Carolina
defenders in the slot, skated into the left circle and unleashed a wrister for
his 19th goal of the year. Laviolette immediately pulled Ward,
who stopped just 10-of-13 shots, for backup Grahame.
Just 4:11 into the third period, Horton was tripped up by Bret Hedican on a
breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot. Horton glided in, faked a shot and
roofed the puck over Grahame's glove for the 4-2 Florida lead.
Carolina has dominated Florida at home, improving to 14-0-1 in the last 15
games between the teams at RBC Center...The Hurricanes travel to New Jersey
Monday, while the Panthers are off until Tuesday when they hit the road to
take on the Penguins.
02/16 22:44:02 ET