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Recap: Martinook hat trick powers Hurricanes to 4-1 win over Panthers

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Cats end six-game roadie with clunker in Raleigh

Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Jordan Martinook registered the first hat trick of his NHL career as the Carolina Hurricanes scored three in the third to blow by the road-weary Florida Panthers for a 4-1 victory at PNC Arena.

The sliding Panthers ended its six-game road trip with a 2-4 record and have given up 20 goals in the last four games.

Florida tested Carolina keeper Curtis McElhinney sixteen times in the first, but came up empty and fell behind with 38 seconds left when Martinook swooped in to pot a juicy rebound after Roberto Luongo made back-to-back saves on Martinook, who took the initial shot, and Lucas Wallmark.

Luonogo was hurt on the play and left with the game with his second lower-body injury of the season and did not return. Hopefully, the injury is not serious.

The second period was heavily tilted in the Hurricanes favor, but James Reimer was up to the task, finishing with 16 saves in the frame. Florida’s penalty kill came up big killing off a double minor for roughing on Mike Matheson and a tripping call on Mark Pysyk.

Despite being doubled up in shots, the Panthers had some quality chances to tie the score. Denis Malgin got off a big blast, but caught iron and Nick Bjugstad was robbed by McElhinney’s glove on a play that would have extended Mike Hoffman’s scoring streak, which came to end after 17 games.

Just as they did two nights prior in Tampa, instead of mounting a third period comeback, the Cats crumbled in the final stanza and surrendered three goals.

Martinook scored from the high slot at 7:31 after taking a nice pass from Wallmark, who had his shot attempt blocked by MacKenzie Weegar. Rookie Andrei Svechnikov picked up his second assist on the broken play goal.

After playing catch with Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen wired a wrist shot by Reimer 61 seconds later with the Hurricanes on a power play thanks to a too many men on the ice penalty on Florida.

The Panthers finally solved McElhinney with 5:46 left in regulation, but by this time, it is was too little, too late. Matheson found Troy Brouwer behind the Carolina defense and he moved in and fired the puck home for his sixth of the season,

With the Florida net empty, Wallmark set up Martinook for a third time and the 26-year-old former Coyote dented the twine to complete the hat trick with two minutes left on the clock.

***

It’s one thing to have Steven Stamkos take a game over on you, but Jordan Martinook? Martinook entered the game with 30 career goals and bagged three against the Cats, he also had a game-high seven shots. Wallmark came into the game with 9 points in his young career and dished out three helpers in his best game so far this season... unreal. More bad from the defense at key times. On the first goal, Wallmark was left all alone in front and his rebound shot was the save that Luongo appeared to get injured on. On the second goal, yes, Weegar fell down after blocking Wallmark’s shot, but he did have a chance to knock the puck out of harm’s way and missed, and Keith Yandle didn’t help by screening Reimer on Martinook’s follow up shot. That said, the Cats only gave up three goals, not counting the empty-netter, and Reimer came in in a tough spot to stop 26 of 28 shots. Tough to win when you score just one goal and make yet another unheralded netminder look like an All-Star. The Panthers get right back at it tonight, opening an absolutely huge eight-game homestand against the struggling Chicago Blackhawks.

Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)