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Panthers Wrap-Up: Hurricanes 6, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 1 0 0 2
Hurricanes 3 2 1 0 6
FLA - S. Matthias (4), F. Kuba (1)
CAR - J. Jokinen (3), J. Tlusty (10), J. Jokinen (4), R. Nash (1), E. Staal (11), E. Staal (12)

RALEIGH, NC — Jussi Jokinen scored twice and added an assist, and Riley Nash netted his first goal as part of a three-point night in the Carolina Hurricanes' 6-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Eric Staal also had two goals for the Hurricanes, Jiri Tlutsy scored his 10th in 11 games, and Alexander Semin had three assists..

"We were not prepared to play this game. We had a big divisional game against our first-place team. We could have reeled them in and it looked like from the drop of the puck that we weren't prepared and that leads to injuries to a certain extent."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Three And Down: The Panthers needed to get out to a good start, especially against the division leading Hurricanes but it was the hosts who jumped out to a quick lead, scoring three goals within a three minute span to hold a 3-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the contest. Pressed into duty, Scott Clemmensen was tested early with a Hurricanes power play. Florida was able to kill it off but weren't able to keep Carolina off the board as they came in waves. First it was Jussi Jokinen scoring off a funny hop off the boards, putting it far side on Clemmensen 6:23 into the game. Then the turnovers cost Florida two more. First it was Alexander Semin, stationed along the boards, picking off a pass from behind the net to find Jiri Tlusty for a goal off the post two minutes later. 49 seconds later, (9:23 mark) Riley Nash picked off a clearing attempt and found a wide open Jokinen who rifled it past Clemmensen for what would be an insurmountable lead.

2. Injuries Hit...Hard: Jose Theodore actually got the call for the Panthers between the pipes but had to leave early as he fell face first to the ice after stopping a shot on the Carolina rush just 2:22 into the game. He would not return with a lower body injury and that was just the start of it for Florida as they lost three more (one did return). Forward Scottie Upshall was playing in his first game since sitting out with a lower body injury but couldn't make it through the first period, leaving with a lower body injury. The second period claimed two more. Already without captain Ed Jovanovski, Mike Weaver and Mike Caruso, the Panthers blueline lost Dmitry Kulikov as he fell awkwardly in the Panthers zone while trying to make a pass up the ice. He didn't return. Forward Jack Skille also left the ice at the same time as Kulikov in the second but did return in the third to play.

3. Frustrations Boil Over: Florida made it a game despite the early 3-0 lead as Shawn Matthias scored on a nice individual effort to make it a two-goal game in the first and the Cats had great chances to make it a one goal game late in the first and in the second period but it was Carolina scoring the next two goals to make it a 5-1 affair. Filip Kuba scored late in the second to cut the lead to 5-2 but Eric Staal netted his second of the game with about eight to play to end it. The two teams battled all night and the score along with the Hurricanes frustrated the Panthers. Stephen Weiss squared off with Justin Faulk after a check and the two later fought early in the third period. Jonathan Huberdeau and Chad LaRose battled back and forth all night with the rookie taking a penalty on one particular play. Defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Tyson Strachan had their battles as well with Canes players throughout the night. It's a wonder what Sunday will bring as the two teams finish off their home-and-home series.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@305MiamiTeams: #FlaPanthers isn't a good team right now. Some saying to blow up roster, but I wouldn't. Knew they were gonna struggle in shortened season.

@kwkouki: Can we activate Gord Murphy? #FlaPanthers we are running low on options right now

@84alloy: Theodore, Kulikov and Upshall injured tonight? Not good... #FlaPanthers

@JagsFan93: At least the game tomorrow night will be interesting. Line brawls for everyone. #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jeff Main: Well, not much to say about this. The penalty kill was superb, seeing Huberdeau stand his ground demands credit. PANTHERS4LIFE. Put this game behind us and move on to the next.

Jeanine Vasile Lynch: Hope they do better tomorrow night when I am there to watch!!

Matthew Dunstan: Hang In Boys, Get Em Tomorrow

Billy Hammer: You can not hope to win a lot of games if you're allowing 3 or more goals per game. A little bit of consistency in the net and among the D's wouldn't mind...

0. Florida created a lot of pressure on Carolina but they weren't rewarded with one single power play opportunity. It was the first time all season they didn not get a power play in a game.

2. Definitely not known as a fighter, Stephen Weiss recorded the second fight of his NHL career (according to His first fight came on Jan. 11, 2003 when he squared off against Washington's Brian Sutherby.

3. Carolina scored six goals in the game and three Hurricanes had their hands in half of them. Led by Jussi Jokinen's two goals and an assist, forwards Riley Nash (goal, two assists) and Alexander Semin (three assists) also had three point nights.

15. Centers Jerred Smithson (8-of-11) and Marcel Goc (7-of-11) won 15 of the team's 32 face-offs on the night. The team won 56% of their face-offs as a team.

23:31. Playing with five defensemen for half the game, defensemen Tyson Strachan recorded his second straight career high in time on ice as he skated in 23:31 of the game. That followed his 23:26 against Buffalo on Thursday. It's the only two times in his NHL career (98 games) he has played in more than 20 minutes in a game.

Jussi Jokinen
Got the Hurricanes going with the game's first goal and scored what would be the game-winner as the Canes got off to a 3-0 start.

2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points, 5 Shots, +2, 15:18 TOI
There's not much down time between the two teams as the home-and-home series between Florida and Carolina shifts to South Florida where they'll face off in a 6pm start on Sunday at the BB&T Center. Florida will look to avenge Saturday night's defeat and get back to within four points of the division leaders.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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