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Panthers Wrap-Up: Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 1 0 2
Hurricanes 0 1 2 0 3
FLA - M. Goc (9), D. Kulikov (3)
CAR - R. Nash (5), A. Semin (7), SH - A. Semin (8)

RALEIGH, NC —  ( - Alexander Semin scored twice in the third period, including a shorthanded goal, Anton Khudobin stopped 37 shots, and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 Saturday.

Carolina (20-18-9) came into the game off consecutive shutout losses. Florida (18-23-7) lost its second straight.

"It's 1-1 going into the third and they end up winning the game. We have to do that in the third period. We have to bear down and stick to it, find a way to score that next goal.."

- Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek
1. Just Killin It: The Panthers penalty kill was tested early but like it has since the Detroit game in late December, they were up to the challenge. Florida was whistled for back-to-back calls early in the opening period and the Hurricanes tested them, throwing nine shots on Tim Thomas during the four minutes but Thomas came up with some unreal saves and got some key blocks to keep the Canes off the board. Killing off both penalties in the game, the Panthers penalty kill unit has now killed off 31 straight penalties over nine-plus games.

2. Proper Answer: It was a game of inches as Florida was inches away from a breakaway opportunity in the second  but former Cat Radek Dvorak intercepted the clearing pass and Riley Nash eventually scored the game's first goal 3:37 into the second. The Panthers answered as they stepped up their attack and it began with the very next shift as Drew Shore was denied on a breakaway chance of his own. They eventually got the equalizer with 4:55 to play thanks to hard work from Jonathan Huberdeau, Marcel Goc and Tomas Kopecky as Huberdeau set up Goc for the tip-in goal from in close.

3. Late Chances Not Enough: Deadlocked at one after two, it was anyone's game but Alexsander Semin and Eric Staal took over in the third. First it was Semin scoring off the face-off win by Staal 2:31 in and then with the Panthers late on a power play, Staal found Semin behind the Panthers defense and the Russian winger scored on the breakaway to give them a two-goal cushion with 8:57 gone in the frame. Florida kicked up the desperation and threw a lot of shots on Anton Khudobin. Dmitry Kulikov's slap shot with 5:39 to play got them to within one but the Panthers couldn't get the equalizer.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@RobMc82: 4 games in 2014 so far that #FlaPanthers have lost, where just one PP goal could have made a difference between a win or loss.

@AndrewLevine5: @FlaPanthers on the pp, lets make it count. We can do it! #FlaPanthers

@IShotBambi: @HockeyGods Where's the @FlaPanthers puck luck???

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Anthony Marino: Rework the lines... come on...

James Alexander: Yes, the power play stinks. Campbell needs to start acting like a defenseman (play aggressively) or move somewhere else. Gilbert must have ADHD, his mistakes are costing us too many goals against.

Samuel Niles: Ugh! Please fix the PP

3. Picking up an assist on Dmitry Kulikov's third goal of the season, forward Nick Bjugstad has recorded three points (2-1-3) in his last four games played.

15. Each team finished with 15 as their period high in shots. For Florida it came in the first period while for Carolina it happened in the second. Both teams finished with 39 shots a piece.

16. The Panthers finished with 39 shots on the night. The Killer B line led the way as Aleksander Barkov (6), Sean Bergenheim (5) and Brad Boyes (5) had 16 of them.

19. The Cats finished with 19 blocked shots on the night. Leading the way was Kulikov who had three while five other skaters finished with two each.

31. Florida's penalty kill has been on point. After killing off both Hurricanes power play chances, they have now killed off 31 straight opponent's man advantages.

Alexander Semin
With the game tied in the third, scored the go ahead and the eventual game winner while shorthanded for the Canes. Led the way with 8 shots on the night.

2 Goals, 2 Points, +2, 8 Shots, 17:10 TOI
The Panthers will play two games in two days, beginning with Monday night's contest in Pittsburgh. The Penguins won't have played since Wednesday when they outlasted the Capitals 4-3. The cream of the crop in the East, Pittsburgh is 15 points clear of the second place Rangers in the Metroplitan and eight up on Boston overall in the conference. Their captain, Sidney Crosby, leads the way offensively with a league high 68 points (25-43-68) in 48 games while Chris Kunitz (49 points) and Evgeni Malking (47 points) have also had great seasons to date. Marc-Andre Fleury has won 27 of his 39 games (27-10-1), posting a 2.26 GAA along the way.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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