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Florida Panthers Win A Thriller In Sunrise, Topping The Carolina Hurricanes 3-2

The Cats took the ice wearing their alternate blue jerseys. They have points in their last seven home games, the first streak of such length since 2005-06.

First Period:

Alexei Ponikarovsky tripped Mike Weaver just under two minutes into the game. The resultant power play saw Tomas Fleischmann put the puck on the net, but the Canes cleared the puck out three times and the Cats were offsides twice on the man advantage.

Back at even strength at the four minute mark, Sean Bergenheim grabbed his own rebound and stuck it in the left side of the net for his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Ed Jovanovski and Shawn Matthias. It was Jovanovski’s 58th assist as a Florida Panther, moving him into a tie for 30th with Paul Laus.

Carolina went on the power play seven minutes into the game when Mikael Samuelsson tripped Chad LaRose. The Panthers penalty kill was on point for the shift, clearing the puck five times while only allowing one shot on goal.

Shawn Matthias almost had himself a wraparound goal, but he couldn’t get a clean shot off.

Jose Theodore made about four saves in ten seconds as the Eric Staal line assaulted the Florida goaltender about 13 minutes into the game.

With just over a minute left in the third, Tim Gleason scored his first of the season and first in 98 games to pull the Hurricanes even at one, assisted by Jamie McBain and Tuomo Ruutu with a shot from between the circles that trickled between Theodore’s legs.

Second Period:

The Panthers spent most of the first three minutes in the Hurricanes zone, but were unable to get set up. Carolina got some pressure on the Florida net, testing Jose Theodore with three shots inside a minute, but the goaltender was equal to the test.

Stephen Weiss beat Eric Staal on a faceoff, and Fleischmann immediately slapped it just wide of the net. Weiss was called for high sticking Jamie McBain on the play. The resultant power play saw the Hurricanes get one shot on net while the Panthers managed to clear the puck four times.

The Hurricanes outshot the Panthers nine to one in the first nine minutes of the second period, but the game remained tied at one.

Matt Bradley and Erik Gudbranson each got a shot on goal inside five seconds, but Cam Ward stopped them both cold.

Chad LaRose stole a clearing attempt by Florida’s leading goal scorer Kris Versteeg and put it over Theodore’s right shoulder for his ninth goal of the season, unassisted for a 2-1 lead with six minutes left in the second period.

Third Period:

Ed Jovanovski got a quality shot on goal for the Panthers with three minutes gone, but nobody could put the rebound home.

Ex-Panther defenseman Bryan Allen boarded Tomas Fleischmann, putting Florida on the man advantage with five mimutes gone. One minute into the power play, Jason Garrison put a one timer past Cam Ward from 35-feet away for his 10th goal of the season to tie the game at two. Assists were awarded to Mikael Samuelsson and Ed Jovanovski, his second of the night.

Jussi Jokinen hit Kris Versteeg into the boards, head first. Versteeg lay face down on the ice for a minute before skating off, leaving the Cats a man up for another power play. Most of the ensuing two minutes were spent with the Panthers skating up and down the ice, chasing the loose puck as Carolina effectively killed the penalty.

Carolina put their first shot on goal with ten minutes gone in the period, with Tuomo Ruutu putting the shot into Jose Theodore’s chest pad.

Versteeg had a great chance with the puck and a wide open net, but whiffed on the puck and slashed Chad LaRose in the process. The following penalty kill saw the Canes get two shots on goal while the Panthers cleared it three times.

Krys Barch and Mike Santorelli snapped off two quick shots on goal, but neither connected.

Kris Versteeg and the first line came into the Carolina zone on a three on one with 15 seconds left, but Versteeg put the puck off the post, and the game goes on to the extra frame.


With the teams skating four on four, the teams both had a lot of good chances in the five minute extra frame. Shawn Matthias skated into the Hurricanes zone alone, but was pad saved by Cam Ward.

Brian Campbell held the puck skating deep into the Hurricanes zone, drawing all the attention, he dropped the puck for Stephen Weiss, who was tripped and missed the puck, but Versteeg slammed it home for the game winner into a wide open net with three minutes gone in overtime. Stephen Weiss also got an assist on the play, bringing his career total to 230, one short of the franchise record holder Olli Jokinen.

Hits: Panthers, 29-19

Blocked Shots: Panthers 18-13

Hurricanes, 40-27

Shots On Goal:
Hurricanes, 26-25

Score: Panthers 3, Hurricanes 2

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.