Recap: Panthers start strong, fizzle out in 4-2 loss to Hurricanes

Carolina tames Cats for a second time this season

The Florida Panthers started strong, but couldn’t come up with more goals, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes by a 4-2 count at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

Aaron Ekblad and Brian Boyle scored 18 seconds apart to stake the Cats to a 2-0 lead at the 8:54 mark of the first period.

Ekblad took the puck through and open lane after a Noel Acciari faceoff win and shoveled a backhander by Petr Mrazek. Boyle lit the lamp after Colton Sceviour found him wide open in front after Anton Stralman came up with a steal in the Carolina zone.

Unfortunately, that would be all the offense the Cats would muster and the Hurricanes would have the game tied up within six minutes on goals from Brett Pesce and Martin Necas.

Dougie Hamilton scored the go-ahead goal with 2:15 left in the second period and Andrei Svechnikov clinched it with an empty-netter with a 1:0 left in regulation.  Svechnikov also picked up an assist on the game-winner.

The Hurricanes really clamped down on the Panthers in the final frame, out-shooting them 16-7 to short circuit a potential comeback for the Cats, who entered the game with a 5-4-2 record when trailing after two periods.

Florida has lost six times in regulation and two of those losses have come against Carolina, the first one by a 6-3 margin in the third game of the season.

The Panthers mustered just 23 shots at Mrazek, who finished with 21 saves. Teuvo Teravainen sparked the Hurricanes offense with the primary assist on the last three goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky finished the game with 30 saves on 33 shots.

The Panthers have no time to wallow in the defeat as they return home to face the Buffalo Sabres, who did not play yesterday, at 5 p.m. at the BB&T Center.

Florida held on to second place in the Atlantic Division, thanks to the New York Rangers 6-5 upset of the Montreal Canadiens, but need to grab two points today against the struggling Sabres with Tampa Bay and Toronto suddenly moving up in the standings.

Video Recap

Wind & Water

  • The Hurricanes limited the Panthers top line to a total of five shots on goal and kept the trio off the score sheet.
  • In addition to picking his first assist as a Cat,  Noel Acciari played in his 200th NHL game. So, two milestones in one game.
  • Big-leaguer sophomore Andrei Svechnikov is red-hot right now. The winger extended his point streak to seven games and has collected 13 points over that torrid span.
  • Speaking of scoring streaks, defenseman Joel Edmundson’s assist on Brett Pesce’s goal upped his to a career-high six games.
  • The Panthers stayed out of the sin bin for the first 52 minutes, but a trip on Brian Boyle and two many men penalty helped derail a rally in Raleigh.
  • For more on the game head over to Canes Country./