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Jeff Skinner lifts Hurricanes past Panthers

Scores tying, winning goals; Cam Ward makes 33 saves

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jeff Skinner scored his second goal of the game with 3:55 left in the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

Skinner broke a 3-3 tie when he one-timed Derek Ryan's pass in front of the net for his fifth goal in three games.

"He's at the net, he's doing things right," Carolina coach Bill Peters said of Skinner, who has 28 goals. "He went at the net hard on the game-winner and got rewarded for it."

 

WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Panthers highlights

 

Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes (31-27-13), who have at least one point in their past eight games (5-0-3). Carolina is six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward made 33 saves.

Aleksander Barkov, Reilly Smith and Keith Yandle scored for the Panthers (31-30-11), who are 3-10-1 in their past 14 games. Jaromir Jagr and Jason Demers each had two assists.

Video: CAR@FLA: Skinner tucks rebound past Berra

Reta Berra made 21 saves in his first NHL start since Dec. 9, 2015, when he was with the Colorado Avalanche. He had appeared in one game for the Panthers, stopping all eight shots he faced in relief of James Reimer in a 5-2 loss against the New York Rangers on March 7.

"For me, it was nice to play a game," Berra said. "I have to be better. I have to help the team."

The Panthers took the lead three times in the first and second periods, but the Hurricanes tied the score each time.

Barkov made it 1-0 at 1:35 of the first period when he deflected a point shot from Demers, but Teravainen tied it 1-1 at 5:09, scoring off a rebound from a sharp angle.

Smith gave Florida a 2-1 lead at 11:51 when he redirected Jussi Jokinen's pass across the crease, but Aho tied it 2-2 when he beat Berra on a shorthanded breakaway at 14:24.

Yandle put Florida ahead 3-2 at 1:14 of the second period when his pass to the front of the net bounced in off the sticks of Ward and defenseman Justin Faulk.

Skinner tied it 3-3 27 seconds later when he scored on a rebound after Berra stopped Lee Stempniak's backhand on a breakaway.

"I feel like we've learned as a group to stay resilient a little bit more," Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal said. "We've folded a lot of games early a month and two months back and kind of gave up pretty quick when we got down. Tonight was definitely a different picture of staying with it and really just taking their momentum out quickly when they got a goal and going right back at them and playing our game again. It was a good, resilient effort tonight."

Video: CAR@FLA: Teravainen nets PPG off fortunate bounce

 

Goal of the game

After skating around defenseman Alex Petrovic, Ryan held on to the puck while defenseman Mike Matheson slid to the ice before passing in front of the net to Skinner to set up the game-winning goal.

Video: CAR@FLA: Skinner tallies second goal on the doorstep

 

Save of the game

With Berra on the bench for an extra attacker, Florida center Vincent Trocheck had a great scoring chance when he was left alone with the puck in the slot, but Ward stopped his wrist shot with 51 seconds left.

 

Highlight of the game

After Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad lost control of the puck at the Carolina blue line, Elias Lindholm skated into the Panthers zone before stopping and backhanding a pass to Aho, who lost control of the puck while attempting a deke to his backhand. Berra committed to poke-checking Aho, and the puck went in between his legs.

Video: CAR@FLA: Aho dekes to score a SHG five-hole

 

Unsung performance of the game

Late in the second period, with the game tied 3-3, Thomas Vanek got a rebound in front of the net after Ward made a save on Jonathan Huberdeau's turnaround shot. Vanek appeared ready to put the puck into the open net before Faulk knocked the puck away.

 

They said it

"It was a gutsy effort. At times it wasn't pretty, but every time they scored, we were able to respond and counter with another goal to even it up. Kudos to the guys for sticking with it even though it wasn't the most pretty game." -- Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward

 

"At the end of the day, these are the times you go through, learn how to win. The feeling that they have now really hurts, especially after having such a successful season last year, 103 points, a division title. Expectations were incredibly high this year, but these are the trying times you have to go through. When you have a young group like we have, they have to feel the pain, and we're feeling it probably a little frequently lately, but it's all part of the process." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe

 

Video: CAR@FLA: Barkov deflects Demers' point shot home

 

Need to know

Ekblad returned to the Florida lineup after missing four games because of a concussion. … Jagr has 41 points after the two-assist game. He has reached 40 points in 22 of 23 NHL seasons. … Lindholm has an eight-game point streak (three goals, six assists).

 

What's next

Hurricanes: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNE, RDS, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-A, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Skinner, Ward power Canes past Panthers, 4-3

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