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Panthers
Carolina
Hurricanes

42 SOG
22 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
FLA
CAR
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game recap

Hurricanes hold off Panthers 2-1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Hurricanes hold off Panthers 2-1
Florida Panthers 1, Carolina Hurricanes 2
Cory Stillman helped make new team a winner -- at the expense of his former club.

Stillman had a goal and an assist in the first period as the Carolina Hurricanes held off the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Tuesday night -- five days after Florida traded Stillman to the 'Canes.

"That's a team we had to beat," Stillman said after the Hurricanes remained two points ahead of ninth-place Buffalo in the Eastern Conference playoff race. "It was a good start, an emotional start, that's for sure. I had a chance to score on my first shift and missed the net. But it's nice to get that game over with quickly."

Eric Staal had Carolina's other goal and Cam Ward stopped 41 shots, allowing only a goal by Stephen Weiss.

"It was a very difficult game for our team to play and it looked like it," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "And we won. We've played games this year where we've played exceptionally and lost. Tonight we weren't as good as we expected our team to be and we won."

It was also the first game with their new teams for Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen and Florida forward Sergei Samsonov after the teams made another trade at the deadline on Monday.

The biggest boost for Carolina was the return of Staal, their captain, who was back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game at Montreal following a hard upper-body check from Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen that had taken him out late in the second period on Friday.

"I felt good," Staal said. "It took a little bit to get legs into it early, but for the most part I felt pretty good. We're going to look forward to Thursday against Buffalo. We would like to have looked a little better breaking the puck out of our end, but they skated hard."

With Buffalo coming to the RBC Center, the 'Canes had to fight the temptation to look past the Panthers, who traded off several veterans as the deadline approached.

"The biggest mistake that you make in this League is to take a look at a team and think that it somehow will get easy," Maurice said. "It's just not an easy sport, and that's what's great about it."

Stillman got the Hurricanes on the board on a rush 5:25 into the game, sending the puck ricocheting off the outside of his left skate and between Scott Clemmensen's pads.

Staal made it 2-0 on a power play at 14:55, camping on the left doorstep and barely moving his stick to tip in Stillman's pass from the right circle.

"Cory is going to make two or three plays a game that we really don't have anybody else that can make," Maurice said. "That pass on the goal is one of them."

Weiss halved the lead for Florida at 3:58 of the second when he outfought defenseman Joe Corvo in the low slot and beat Ward to the glove side. The Panthers pressured Ward the rest of the way but couldn't beat him.

"They've always been known to be a hard-working team, and they had quite a few changes in their lineup," said Ward, who made his 23rd straight start in goal. "You know when guys get opportunities to play they're going to be working for jobs."

Florida coach Peter DeBoer said he couldn't have asked for anything more -- except another goal or two.

"I give ourselves an 'A' for effort," DeBoer said. "With Bryan Allen and Cory Stillman over there we knew they'd come out quickly and they did. But I thought our guys showed a lot of resiliency and probably deserved a better fate."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
05:25
CAR
Cory Stillman (9) ASST: Erik Cole (22), Joni Pitkanen (26)
1 - 0 CAR
14:55
CAR
PPG - Eric Staal (28) ASST: Cory Stillman (17), Joe Corvo (23)
2 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
03:58
FLA
Stephen Weiss (17) ASST: David Booth (15), Jason Garrison (9)
2 - 1 CAR
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
08:29
CAR
Troy Bodie  Fighting (maj) against  Hugh Jessiman
08:29
FLA
Hugh Jessiman  Fighting (maj) against  Troy Bodie
13:40
FLA
Darcy Hordichuk  Holding against  Chad LaRose
2nd Period
06:43
CAR
Eric Staal  Holding against  Mike Santorelli
16:20
FLA
Michal Repik  Hooking against  Troy Bodie
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Scott Clemmensen
SA: 22TOI: 59:17
Saves: 20EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .909SH: 0 - 0
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
27-21-8
SA: 42TOI: 59:47
Saves: 41EV: 39 - 40
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .976SH: 0 - 0