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Gelinas Scores 300th Career Goal in Season Finale

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Rod Brind'Amour scored on a breakaway with 24 seconds left in overtime to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a season-ending 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

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Brind'Amour started the decisive sequence when he took the puck from Florida's Bryan Allen at the blue line. The Carolina captain skated in alone on Craig Anderson and slipped the puck between his legs.

David Tanabe scored twice, and Erik Cole and Eric Staal added third-period goals to help Carolina rally from a three-goal deficit for the second time this season on home ice against Florida.

Olli Jokinen scored his team-leading 39th goal and added two assists. Ville Peltonen also had a goal and two assists for Florida, which was denied its first victory on Carolina's ice since 2002.

Martin Gelinas scored his 300th career goal, Jay Bouwmeester also scored and Nathan Horton added two assists for the Panthers.

Allen could've won it in overtime for the Panthers. He was awarded a penalty shot with 2:23 left in overtime after Ray Whitney was called for hooking on a breakaway, but Allen's shot went right into John Grahame's pads.

Grahame finished with 35 saves for the Hurricanes, while Anderson stopped 48 shots for Florida. Carolina's 53 shots were the franchise's most since relocating from Hartford.

The Hurricanes seemed finished entering the final 20 minutes of their season, trailing 4-1 entering the third period.

Tanabe started the comeback when he snapped the puck past Anderson about 5 minutes into the period. Cole made it a one-goal game with about 7 1/2 minutes left and Staal tied it with 4:23 left, tapping the rebound of Ray Whitney's blast from the point past Anderson.

In a matchup of teams whose playoff hopes were long since dashed, the Hurricanes won their seventh straight over Florida. The Panthers were looking for their first win on Carolina's ice since a 2-0 victory on Dec. 6, 2002.

Jokinen's 39 goals were the third-best total in team history and the most by a Florida player since Pavel Bure set the team record with 59 in 2000-01.
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