Panthers end Hurricanes’ winning streak at 7
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes’ unexpected winning streak came to an end at Florida on Saturday night.
Michael Frolik and Kamil Kreps scored
in a 1:11 span of the first period, Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves and the
Florida Panthers beat Carolina 4-1 to snap the Hurricanes’ winning
streak at seven games.
Cory Stillman scored late in the
third period, and Kreps added an empty-net goal to help Florida win its
second straight game after a seven-game losing streak.
Justin Peters made 26 saves while
suffering his first career loss following three straight wins. Jussi
Jokinen scored his 25th goal for Carolina.
“Giving up two goals early in the
game was really a big test for me to mentally stay with it,” Peters
said. “I was able to stay strong and give the team a chance.”
Frolik scored his 16th goal with 6:02
left in the first period. Dmitry Kulikov’s pass toward the crease
deflected of Carolina’s Joni Pitkanen and Frolik quickly put the puck
into the net.
Kreps made it 2-0 when he took a pass
from Nick Tarnasky in the slot and fired the puck between Peters’ legs.
Tarnasky grabbed the puck after Carolina’s Alexandre Picard failed to
clear from near the left side boards.
Florida’s first-period goals came
after Tarnasky and Carolina’s Jay Harrison fought 1:15 into the game.
Three nights earlier, Florida’s Gregory Campbell and Tarnasky were
involved in fights just five seconds in during a 7-4 win against
Coincidence or not, Tarnasky might have set the tone against Carolina.
“It was one of our best first periods of the year because we were so physically involved,” Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.
Carolina pulled to 2-1 on Jokinen’s goal at 7:58 of the third.
“When we made it 2-1, I figured it
was just a matter of breaks and bounces around the net at that point
(before we tied it),” Hurricanes coach Jason Karmanos said.
After Vokoun stopped Brandon
Sutter’s shot from the right circle, the goalie went to his knees and
reached for the puck just as Jokinen hit the puck. The puck popped up
and over Vokoun and into the net.
“It’s not about shutouts, it’s about
winning games,” said Vokoun, who is tied for the league-high with seven
shutouts this season.
Stillman scored his 12th goal when he wristed a shot from the slot past Peters.
The Hurricanes failed to score during a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:42 of the second period.
“That was the big difference – we played great in penalty killing,” Frolik said.
Carolina won its last five games
before the Olympic break, before winning 5-1 at Toronto on Tuesday
night and beating Ottawa 4-1 on Thursday night.
NOTES: Carolina G Cam Ward (back) is
listed day-to-day. He has missed eight games. … It was the sixth and
final meeting for the teams, with each winning its three home games.
… Florida will begin a three-game trip (Minnesota, Colorado, San
Jose) on Tuesday night. … Carolina continues its three-game trip at
Atlanta on Sunday and Washington on Wednesday night. … Florida has
499 franchise victories.
Updated March 6, 2010
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