NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Florida
(Friday, January 7th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Florida 3
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Rookie Jeff Skinner and Erik Cole both scored two goals to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Eric Staal also found the back of the net for the Hurricanes, who rallied from a two-goal deficit to extend their point streak to six games (4-0-2). Tuomo Ruutu collected three assists and Justin Peters, making just his sixth start of the season and second since late November, made 32 saves in the win.
Marty Reasoner lit the lamp twice for the Panthers, who have dropped two straight. Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 shots.
Staal's 20th goal of the season gave Carolina a 3-2 lead at the 9:34 mark of the third period. The Hurricanes doubled their advantage when a trailing Cole accepted a drop pass from Skinner and beat Vokoun on the glove side with three minutes remaining.
Cole made it 5-2 with an empty-net marker inside the final minute before Reasoner capped the scoring with 38 seconds to play.
Florida's David Booth scored on a wraparound 1:36 into the contest, then Reasoner deflected Dennis Wideman's one-timer from the point behind Peters to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at the 12:30 mark of the first period.
"I didn't feel, even at 2-0, that we had gotten dominated in the play," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice.
Carolina pulled even in the middle frame thanks to a pair of goals by the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Skinner took a pass from Ruutu and made a move to avoid Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov before firing a wrister past Vokoun at 1:46.
The 18-year-old struck again at 10:47 when the puck pinballed off him and fluttered over Vokoun.
"I think fatigue set in," said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer about the second period. "We started to make some mental errors, took a couple offensive zone penalties and the momentum shifted."
Staal scored 20 goals for the sixth consecutive season. He became the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone, joining Kevin Dineen (1984-91) and Ron Francis (1981-91)...Skinner is the youngest player in the NHL...Cole has four goals and three assists in five games against Florida this season, while Skinner and Ruutu both have three goals and four assists in the five meetings.
01/07 23:33:13 ET