Martinook’s hat trick leads Hurricanes past Panthers 4-1
“I’m just a guy that goes and works hard and if they come, they come,” Martinook said.
The goals came in bunches for Martinook on Friday night as the Hurricanes’ third-line winger recorded his first hat trick in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
It was Carolina’s third straight win.
Martinook, a fifth-year forward, scored in the first period and added two goals in the third, while Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves for the Hurricanes.
Troy Brouwer scored Florida’s only goal at 14:04 of the third period, spoiling McElhinney’s shutout bid.
“That’s just what we do: We go out work hard and forecheck,” Martinook said. “The last five, six games, you could see us coming and it’s nice to finally get rewarded and get some pucks in the back of the net.”
Martinook, traded from Arizona to Carolina in the offseason, had six goals in 81 games with the Coyotes last season. He has seven goals through 22 games this season.
The Hurricanes had hoped to get leadership and some grit from Martinook. They didn’t quite know they were going to get this much from McElhinney when they picked up on waivers from Toronto two days before the season started.
McElhinney is making the most of this opportunity, his seventh team in 11 NHL seasons. He also picked up wins over New Jersey and Toronto this week.
“It’s all about building something here right now” McElhinney said. “We’ve got a little bit of steam going.”
McElhinney was especially good in the second period when he killed off Florida’s only power-play opportunity in the game. He made a sterling glove save on Nick Bjugstad at 12:09.
Carolina finish with four power-play chances, compared to only one for the Panthers, but Florida coach Bob Boughner wasn’t necessarily worried about the discrepancy.
“I don’t think we lost because of the refereeing tonight,” Boughner said. “We couldn’t find a way to score when we needed a goal. I give McElhinney some credit. He played well.”
The Panthers needed two goalies to get through Friday’s game. Roberto Luongo got hurt on Martinook’s first goal, which came at 19:22 in the first.
Luongo stopped a shot from Martinook and the rebound went to Wallmark in front of the net. Luongo saved the first attempt from Wallmark, but Martinook skated in and scored on the rebound.
Luongo immediately fell to the ice and grabbed his right knee. He was replaced by James Reimer and didn’t return. Reimer finished with 26 saves for the Panthers, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Neither team scored in the second period. McElhinney got some help in the second when Denis Malgin’s shot pinged off the crossbar at 7:30.
Martinook made it 2-0 at 7:31 in the third period off of an assist from Wallmark. Sixty-one seconds later, Teuvo Teravainen put the game away with his fifth goal of the season.
NOTES: The Panthers closed out a six-game road trip with a 2-4 record. . Rookie winger Andrei Svechnikov had two assists for the Hurricanes. Center Sebastian Aho registered his team-best 18th assist. He leads the team with 25 points.
Panthers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Hurricanes: At the New York Islanders on Saturday.