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NHL Game Summary - Florida at Carolina

(Thursday, March 25th)

Final Score: Carolina 3, Florida 2

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Josef Vasicek's goal with 11:51 remaining in the third period lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at the RBC Center.

Arturs Irbe stopped just 19 shots for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Nathan Horton and Niklas Hagman each had a marker each in defeat.

Vasicek ripped a blast from the left circle, beating goalie Roberto Luongo glove side high for the game-winner for Carolina, who trailed 2-0 in the contest.

Luongo stopped 42 shots for Florida, which has dropped four straight. Kevyn Adams and Rod Brind'Amour each scored for the Hurricanes in the win.

Luongo was the lone bright spot in defeat. With his 42 saves he now has the record for most saves in a season since the NHL started keeping the record back in 1976. The old mark was set by Felix Potvin with 2,214 saves back in the 1996-97 season. Luongo now has 2,219 saves on the season.

"It was not a good night. (Luongo) was the shining spot of the whole night," said Panthers coach John Torchetti. "We've got to realize that we can't expect to go out there and just throw our sticks in the air and get points. We had a 2-0 lead, and we got away from our game plan again. So we've got to get some guys stepping up in there more."

Horton got the Panthers on the board just 3:11 into the contest on the second shot of the game. Lyle Odelein skated down the right boards and slipped a cross ice pass to Norton, who snapped a low shot, beating Irbe stick side.

"Their first goal came on their second shot," said Carolina coach Peter Laviolette. " We came out with the right mentality and were moving in the right direction. It was a tough break. It was nice to see that we kept fighting and kept our foot on the gas down in their end, and eventually some started to go in."

Florida forged ahead 2-0 on Hagman's blast from the point. Ollie Jokinen skated with the puck in the middle of the ice and dropped off the puck to a trailing Hagman. The winger ripped a shot from the slot, beating Irbe stick side, with 5:35 gone by in the second.

Carolina evened up the contest on goals by Adams and Brind'Amour. Adams tally came 10:29 into the second. Radim Vrbata crashed the net on a Bret Hedican shot that was not cleanly saved by Luongo. The puck came to Vrbata, who one- timed a shot that went off the netminder's pads and trickled into the crease. Adams finished off the play, stuffing home the disc into an empty cage.

Luongo was busy in the second period as he was peppered with 24 shots, while Irbe faced just eight.

Brind'Amour would get the equalizer in the opening stages of the third period. Brind'Amour gathered a loose puck near the left boards and slipped a pass into the slot. Ryan Bayda one-timed a shot on net, but Luongo made a quick blocker save. However, Brind'Amour followed his play and finally cashed in after taking several whacks at the puck in front of the cage. His 10th of the season made it 2-2 with 1:43 gone by in the third.

Game Notes

Jokinen has 27 assists on the season...Florida leads the season series 2-1-1...Carolina has 27 points since February 12...This is the first of three matchups between the teams over the final 11 days of the regular season...Carolina finished 0-for-4 on the power play.

03/26 00:24:03 ET

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