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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Hurricanes 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 2 0 3
HURRICANES 0 1 0 0 1
FLA - PPG - T. Fleischmann (11), S. Matthias (4), EN - S. Matthias (5)

CAR - J. Skinner (10)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Shawn Matthias scored with 3:19 left to help the Florida Panthers beat Carolina 3-1 on Tuesday night and spoil Kirk Muller's debut as the Hurricanes' coach.

Tomas Fleischmann also scored and Matthias added an empty-netter for the Southeast Division-leading Panthers. Jose Theodore made 26 saves.

"If I'm (a) player with a new coach, I'm going to come out with a ton of jump, and they did. That one was not our finest effort. It wasn't our worst effort. It was one of those games where you find a way and we found a way tonight."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Weathering The Storm: Florida had a few strong opening minutes of the game but Carolina really took it to the away team, controlling play through the first period or so. Carolina outshot Florida 8-2 in the opening twenty minutes and if it weren't for netminder Jose Theodore, the game might have been different early. Theodore made many numerous saves, including several on Alexei Ponikarovsky with 2:54 left in first as he took three wacks at the puck from in close. The Panthers defense finally were able to clear the puck but not before several pretty saves. Theodore kept the Panthers competitive while the rest of the team finally were able to solve Cam Ward. The Panthers netminder finished with 26 saves for his tenth win of the season.

2. Special Teams Sparkles: Both Panthers specialty units were on par Tuesday night in Carolina. The penalty kill unit had to be counted on more as the Panthers took five minors. Despite those opportunities, Florida's four-man units killed off all 8:58 of man advantage time as they played a smoldering system. They limited Carolina to just four shots on their opportunities. Not to be outdone, the Panthers power play unit found success on their first power play chance as Tomas Fleischmann scored on a rip of a shot 13 seconds into a Patrick Dwyer boarding penalty. Florida finished with just two power play chances for 1:21 (penalty wiped out their other chance early). The only downside was that Jack Skille, held on a breakaway, was denied on his penalty shot in the third period.

3. Role Players Chip In: The Panthers top line got the team's first goal of the game but it was the role players that were the most effective. The line of Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias and Sean Bergenheim might have had the team's best chances on the night and capitalized on two of them as Matthias netted the game-winner from just outside the blue paint and then hustled to create a turnover and race down the ice to score the empty netter. Kopecky had his chances, including a great chance on a shorthanded mini-breakaway and Bergenheim has a nice chance on a rush as well. Skille and Mike Santorelli also had their chances and the bottom nine played a great defensive game against a team that was looking to impress their new bench boss, former Panther Kirk Muller.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@34inXXIII: Love that the @FlaPanthers hold the largest division lead in the NHL right now thanks to great play on the road. #WeSeeRed

@jametz: So proud of my #roadwarriors @FlaPanthers keep it up !!

@notsocooljones: @FlaPanthers Loving this team! #winning

@mschristymariee: @FlaPanthers owning the Southeast right now! It feels real nice to be a Cats fan :)

@wheels38: Way to go @FlaPanthers great road win! #weseered

@Pigpen2973: Get on board south Florida, this is the best team in FLORIDA! @FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Dave G.: Awesome win!! That's what happens when we get secondary scoring!!

Marco Astro: Panthers wiiiiiiiiin... finally some secondary production. What an important victory puts us 5 up in the division. I see RED all the way from germany ;)

Jeff Main: I still think Matthias should be on the 2nd line, he came to us highly touted from Detroit and I personally think Florida is not using him to his full potential

Carol Campbell: Matthias is my hero tonight....Theodore was awesome.

Mått Nicolaïdis: Wow. Theodore is playing like he did his first couple of years in Montreal. Glad the man's finally found his zen in Miami.


2. It seemed like Florida had a lot of chances in the opening period but the statistic showed otherwise as they had just two shots on net. Florida had another two missed shots while Carolina blocked three more attempted shots.

Shawn Matthias scored the final two goals of the game, the game-winner and the insurance empty netter. Matthias has scored three of the last four goals for the Panthers going back to Saturday's game in Tampa Bay.

Getting their first power play of the night, the Panthers made good on it and they did it quickly as Tomas Fleischmann ripped a shot top shelf that beat Cam Ward just 13 seconds into the man advantage.

17. With the win, Florida earned their second highest point total for the month of November in franchise history. The Panthers 17 points (7-3-3) trails the November from the 1995-96 season (10-2-1; 21 points) and one more than the November from 1996-97 (7-3-2; 16 points).

64. The Panthers first lead of the night was shortlived as Carolina's Jeff Skinner followed up on his own rebound 64 seconds after Fleischmann's rip in the second period.

100. Carolina had their chances thanks to five Panthers penalties, but the penalty kill unit came up big in keeping them off the scoreboard, despite the 8:58 of man advantage time.
Jose Theodore
Shawn Matthias had two goals, but if not for Jose Theodore, the game would have turned out differently. Made several huge saves and finished with 26 on the night.

27 Shots, 26 Saves, .963 SV%
Florida makes the cross country journey (over 4,000 miles) following the game for a west coast game against the Los Angeles Kings. Playing the Kings Thursday night, Florida faces a team that is 12-8-4 in their first 24 games. Los Angeles has been off since a 2-0 shutout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Jonathan Quick registered his fourth shutout of the season as he stopped all 33 shots. Quick has gone 10-6-4 to open the season with a .933 save percentage and a 2.01 goals against average. Offensively, the Kings are led by Anze Kopitar (24 points in 24 games) and former Flyer captain Mike Richards (20 points in 24 games).

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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