NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Florida
(Tuesday, January 16th)
Final Score: Carolina 3, Florida 2 (OT)
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Justin Williams scored a power-play goal 1:47 into overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Florida's Mike Van Ryn got called for holding 1:30 into the extra session and the Carolina power play went to work. Ray Whitney had the puck in the high slot and dished it to Williams at the left circle. Williams held the puck for a couple of seconds and then snapped a wrist shot over the glove of Ed Belfour for the win.
"These games are about momentum and lead changes and momentum swings," said Williams. "It was everything tonight. We came out hard and even when we got down. Our leadership came in and played really well in the overtime."
Erik Cole had a goal and an assist and Scott Walker added the other goal for the Hurricanes, who have won four of their last five games. John Grahame made 18 saves in the win.
Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist while Nathan Horton scored the other goal for the Panthers, who have dropped two of their last three games. Belfour made 24 saves in defeat.
The game marked the 1,000th played for the Florida Panthers franchise.
The Hurricanes drew first blood in the contest when Walker's shot from the right circle went between the pads of Belfour 10:49 into the first.
Florida did not get its first shot in the game until over halfway through the opening frame and only managed four shots on net in the first 20 minutes.
Neither team got on the scoreboard in the second period with Florida getting eight shots on net and Carolina seven.
The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard in the final period when Rostislav Olesz fired a slap shot from the left point that Grahame stopped, but Jokinen was on the doorstep to bang in the rebound 5:56 in.
Skating 5-on-3, Florida took a 2-1 lead when Jokinen took a shot that hit off the right post and bounced to the left side of the net where Horton tapped it past Grahame with 9:44 to play. The goal was reviewed to see if Horton hit the puck with a high stick, but was ultimately allowed to stand.
Carolina, though, responded a little over three minutes later when Cole received a pass in the high slot and snapped a wrist shot into the left corner of the net with 6:26 to play in regulation.
"Games like this, when you don't have your best game going, you got to find ways to win," said Florida center Stephen Weiss. "We had the lead with eight minutes to go and it's the same old story. We got to be better and bear down those last eight or nine minutes because two points would have been huge for us."
Florida hosts Toronto on Thursday...Carolina returns home to face Washington on Thursday...Carolina has won four straight against Florida this season after dropping the first matchup...Jokinen has a seven-game point streak with seven goals and four assists...Whitney has a five-game point streak with two goals and five assists...Carolina is 12-3-1 against the Southeast Division this season...Carolina went 2-for-7 on the power play while Florida scored on one of its three chances with the extra skater.
01/16 23:51:53 ET