Despite losing starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun midway through the first frame - yanked after two softies - the Panthers recovered beyond expectations in a 7-4 home victory over Carolina. Backup Scott Clemmensen settled in to stop 22 shots and collect his first win of the season. Leaving out Marty Reasoner's (1g-1a, +2) name at this point would be criminal, given his efforts, well, everywhere. Freaking player. Like Radek Dvorak's (2a) immeasurable multi-role talents? Here's his North American clone.
How to best sum this one up? Three words: Crash. The. Net. It was the Battle of Normandy in Cam Ward's (43 saves) crease as sea-blue-clad bodies rained down with ferocious regularity. A wildly refreshing change from the set-up-and-and-react offense so readily employed in recent years. Yes, DeBoer and Hulton were behind the bench.
Disclosure: just somehow lost my entire entry for this recap (like the hand of God himself hit the Big Backspace Key in the Sky...telling me something?), so I'm not a happy dood. Regardless, we'll push on with the short, short version...
Notes: Stephen Weiss (2 goals, 1a) came alive with a tremendous 9-shot performance; could this be The Turnaround? Other SOG notables: Chris Higgins (1g) bagged 8, Michael Frolik (1g-1a) finished with 6, while David Booth (1g, 1a) grabbed 5. Joe Corvo (-3) led the 'Canes with 4. Dennis Wideman - again - led FLA's TOI with 23:43, though Corvo led all skaters - by far - with 28:27, leaving no one with any doubt what position Carolina will be looking to bolster come the trade deadline. Forward Cory Stillman (upper body injury) did not return after leaving the ice in the first. FLA faced a plethora of odd-man disadvantages, many of the old-school "refs dey hate us" variety. More from Canes Country - who are no doubt welcoming Saturday's rematch - right here.
CAR scorers: Erik Cole, Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu, Sergei Samsonov; assists to Jussi Jokinen (2), Brandon Sutter, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison (2).
FLA scorers: Booth, Weiss, Mike Santorelli, Higgins, Reasoner, Frolik. Assists to Steven Reinprecht, Bryan Allen (3a), Rusty Olesz, Frolik, Booth, Dvorak (2a), Wideman, and Weiss.
Next up: Carolina gets another shot, this time from Raleigh on Saturday evening. Live Game Chat right here at 6:30.