Hanifin scores late in OT to lift Hurricanes past Panthers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) After Carolina twice gave up one-goal leads in a brawl-filled game against Florida, the Hurricanes’ last goal gave the Panthers no chance to respond.
Noah Hanifin scored from the right doorstep on a pass by Elias Lindholm with 2 seconds left in overtime, giving the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory on Saturday night.
”It was a great pass by Lindy,” Hanifin said. ”I don’t think there was a lot of time left. I hopped over the bench, Lindy found me, and he made a great pass. There was a lot of good execution there.”
Lindholm and Jeff Skinner scored Carolina’s regulation goals, while Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist and Nick Bjugstad scored a goal for Florida.
”Both teams played very hard and there was a lot of passion in that game,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. ”It makes it fun. There was a lot of skill on both sides. They weren’t staged fights for the most part. It was just guys competing, and that’s what happens.”
Carolina goalie Cam Ward had 37 saves for his 299th career win – all with the Hurricanes – while James Reimer stopped 44. Carolina bounced back after a 5-1 loss to the Rangers on Friday night.
”This was huge,” Ward said. ”We had a tough night in New York, and we got home late. It was a gutsy effort, and the energy in the building was outstanding tonight.”
The teams combined for 36 minutes of fighting and roughing penalties.
”Hopefully we can use that situation to bring us together a little bit,” Skinner said. ”It was physical early, and guys did a good job sticking up for each other.”
Carolina outshot the visitors 18-4 in the first period, courtesy of three minor penalties against Florida.
The Hurricanes broke through on their third power play, when Lindholm beat Reimer from the left circle on assists from Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.
”I didn’t like our start,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. ”We took too many penalties and then spent too much time in our zone. Reimer was good and gave us a chance to win. It was a heartbreaker with 2 seconds to go.”
The hostilities started when Brock McGinn and Florida’s Jared McCann fought in the final minute of the period.
Several players got into a skirmish at 7:42 of the second, with Skinner getting four minutes for roughing while teammate Justin Faulk got two minutes. Florida’s Mike Matheson and Micheal Haley received two minutes each. At 9:01, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau got two minutes and joined the group in the boxes.
Hanifin and the Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie fought later in the second.
Florida tied the score nearly 5 minutes into the third, when Bjugstad picked up a loose puck in the crease and slid it past Ward with Barkov on the primary helper.
Carolina came back with a power-play goal 3 minutes later, with Skinner beating Reimer high.
Barkov tied it again in a 6-on-5 at with 1:56 left in regulation.
NOTES: Carolina won the teams’ first meeting 3-1 on Nov. 7. … Brock McGinn and Florida LW Jamie McGinn are brothers. … Florida RW Radim Vrbata was a Hurricane from 2003-05. … Carolina’s healthy scratches were LW Phillip Di Giuseppe and D Klas Dahlbeck. … LW Connor Brickley, LW Henrik Haapala and D Mackenzie Weggar were healthy extras for Florida. … The teams’ final meeting of the season will be on April 2 in Florida.
Panthers: Start a three-game homestand on Monday night against the New York Islanders.
Hurricanes: Visit Vancouver on Tuesday night in the opener of a six-game trip.
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