NHL Game Summary - Florida at Carolina
(Saturday, December 19th)
Final Score: Carolina 3, Florida 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Sergei Samsonov's second-period tally proved to be the difference, as the Carolina Hurricanes fended off the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in the back end of a home-and-home series at the RBC Center.
Matt Cullen scored a goal for Carolina and collected an assist on Patrick Dwyer's marker. Cam Ward made 28 saves for the Hurricanes, who rebounded from a 6-3 loss Friday in Sunrise.
Shawn Matthias and Stephen Weiss lit the lamp for the Panthers, who were vying for a fourth straight win. Scott Clemmensen stopped 21 shots in defeat.
"You know what, I don't know if it's a matter of a bad start or the end of a long schedule and, you know, we didn't have good legs tonight," said Florida head coach Pete DeBoer. "You have to give them credit, they bounced back and battled hard and won a lot of battles. It's been a long two months for us here and we just didn't have it tonight."
Matthias capitalized on a fortuitous carom off the glass to put Florida on the board at 2:17 of the third period. Weiss converted on a two-man advantage with 7:21 remaining to trim the deficit to 3-2, but an equalizer never materialized.
Dwyer opened the scoring for the second straight game, brushing off a heavy hit along the end boards and driving hard to the net to fire in a loose puck at the 12:28 mark of the first period. Cullen netted a short-handed goal a little over two minutes later for a 2-0 Hurricanes edge.
"There's more to a lot of these young player's games then you see right off the bat," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice about Dwyer. "He's had some games here with us now but we're just starting to see he has a little confidence with the puck and trying some things."
Samsonov gave Carolina a three-goal lead when he took a feed from Tom Kostopoulos and fired a shot behind Clemmensen at 8:27 of the middle stanza.
Florida has lost four of its last five at Carolina...Both clubs are in action again on Monday. The Panthers visit Philadelphia, while Carolina stays home to battle the Rangers.
12/19 22:13:40 ET