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NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Florida



(Thursday, December 20th)

Final Score: Florida 5, Carolina 4

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Brett McLean scored the deciding goal late in the third period, as the Florida Panthers edged the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-4, at BankAtlantic Center.

Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist, as five different players scored for Florida, which won its third in a row. Tomas Vokoun stopped 29 shots as Florida beat the Hurricanes for just the second time in the last 12 meetings.

Erik Cole and Ray Whitney each posted a goal and an assist, while Andrew Ladd and Cory Stillman also tallied for Carolina, which had a two-game winning streak snapped. John Grahame made 36 saves for the Hurricanes in the loss.

Carolina forward Justin Williams also left the game with 6:11 remaining in the first period with a left knee injury, and didn't return.

With 6:54 left in the contest, McLean scored after centering a pass from behind the goal. The puck hit off the skate of Carolina's Tim Gleason and past Grahame's right pad.

"It's pretty much all I could hope for," McLean said. "I know Richard Zednik really goes to the net well in situations like that, so I was hoping for him to get a tip. I don't know what it hit (defenseman Tim Gleason), but I'm happy it did."

Prior to that, it had been a game of runs. Radek Dvorak scored his third goal of the season 5:01 into the game, but the Hurricanes came back with three straight goals, all in the first period.

Ladd deflected a Scott Walker shot in, putting Carolina on the board at 6:48. Less than three minutes later, Cole ripped a high shot past Vokoun, and Stillman banged a loose puck in front into the net at the 16:19 mark.

Florida, though, took its turn by scoring a trio of goals, starting when Jokinen's backhanded shot from the right side hit the post and went in 5:14 into the second. Jozef Stumpel tied the game at 3-3 with a blast at the top of the right circle, with just 1:42 left in the period.

Stephen Weiss scored 4:10 into the third period, the third goal in a row for the Panthers, to give the home team a 4-3 lead. It took Whitney just 29 seconds to answer back.

"There were a couple of miniature golf goals like that tonight," said Carolina head coach John Grahame. "It seems like they had the bounces going for them."

Game Notes

After posting 15 and 13 shots in the first and second periods, respectively, Carolina had just five shots on goal in the third...The teams were a combined 0-for-7 on the power play...Carolina opened a three-game road trip, and will next travel to Tampa Bay on Saturday...Florida will try for its fourth win in a row against Toronto on Saturday.

12/21 00:47:51 ET


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