Chris Driedger made 42 saves and Noel Acciari scored his seventh goal in the last three games as the Florida Panthers ended a five-game losing streak against the Carolina Hurricanes by doubling up the bunch of jerks by a 4-2 count at PNC Arena.
Driedger stopped all 13 shots he faced in the first period, including a big save on Warren Foegele, allowing the Cats to get to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead, thanks to breakaway goal by Evgenii Dadonov.
Brian Boyle, who made the stretch pass on Dadonov’s goal, staked the Panthers to a two-goal lead when he deflected Aaron Ekblad’s shot from the point by Petr Mrazek at the 11:34 mark of the second period. The second assist on the power-play marker went to Brett Connolly.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored the eventual game-winner 26 seconds in the third from Aleksander Barkov and MikeHoffman with Florida enjoying another man-advantage and then combined with Keith Yandle to set up Acciari’s clinching goal.
Huberdeau has picked up ten points during Florida’s three-game winning streak that has the club back in third place in the Atlantic Division this morning.
Acciari beat Mrazek with a forehand shot glove-side to restore the Panthers’ three-goal lead 1:25 after Nino Niederreiter got credit for finally solving Driedger after Teuvo Teravainen rebound shot went in off his stick.
Niederreiter would draw an assist on Lucas Wallmark’s power-play goal with 7:01 remaining, but Driedger, who made 18 saves in the final frame, would close things down the rest of the way as the Cats weathered the 44-shot storm to collect all four points of a tough weekend back-to-back.
The Panthers return to action with another roadie on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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Wind & Water
- With the win, the Panthers avoided a second-straight season-series sweep at the hands of the Hurricanes. Florida’s last win over Carolina was a 3-2 decision on April 2, 2018.
- As mentioned above Jonathan Huberdeau has piled up ten points (2G/8A) in the last three games. That has him tied for 7th in the NHL in scoring with 47 points and 3rd in league in assists with 34.
- Petr Mrazek stopped 18 of 22 shots and lost in regulation for just the seventh time this season as the Canes saw a seven-game point streak come to an end.
- The Cats helped out Chris Driedger, who was making his third start, by blocking 23 shots. Noel Acciari and MacKenzie Weegar led the way with four apiece.
- Dougie Hamilton and Martin Necas drew the secondary assists on the Carolina goals.
- For the weak side of the storm, head on over to Canes Country.