Recap: Panthers shutter Hurricanes in convincing 3-0 victory

Spencer Knight stops 40 shots for first shutout of the season

Spencer Knight made 40 saves and posted his first shutout of the season to lead the Florida Panthers to 3-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on a stormy night in South Florida.

Knight made Nick Cousins first period marker, his first in a Panthers kit, stand up as the game-winner and defenseman Brandon Montour assisted on all three Florida goals.

Cousins opened the scoring at 9:21 by converting a juicy rebound after Antti Raanta stopped Montour’s drive from the right point. Cousins passed off to Sam Bennett at the goal line and headed towards the front of the net while Bennett was banking the puck off the boards to Montour.

It would be long time before there was another goal and fortunately for the Cats, it was Aleksander Barkov who got it. Barkov scored at the 10:20 mark of the third with Jack Drury in the penalty box for tripping him. Barkov finished off a pretty backhand pass from Carter Verhaeghe on a give-and-go after Montour turned the play the other way in the neutral zone and sent his teammates speeding over the Carolina blue line.

Anton Lundell found Bennett in open ice and he clinched it with an empty-netter with six seconds to go.

Thanks to Knight, who outdueled a very game Raanta (33 saves), some timely scoring, and a rare win on the special team, the Panthers were able to deliver their most impressive result of the young season, even without leading scorer Matthew Tkachuk, who was serving the last of a two-game suspension. Tkachuk will be back on Saturday when the Cats face Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday

Wind & Rain

  • Spencer Knight is now 5-1-0 with a 2.18 GAA and .925 save percentage after completing his third career shutout. Knight was at his best in the first frame, when he stopped 18 shots.
  • Brandon Montour’s 15 points (4G/11A) through his first 12 games this season are a franchise record for defensemen. His seven points over his past two outings ties Bryan McCabe (March 3-6, 2010) for the most through a two-game span by a Florida blue liner.
  • Head coach Paul Maurice won his 783rd game to pass Al Arbour (St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders) for sixth place all-time in NHL history.
  • Eric Staal hit a milestone by playing in his 1,300th NHL game. Staal, who played 909 games for the Hurricanes, logged  12:43 TOI and registered two shots, two hits and two blocks against his old team.
  • Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Stefan Noesen and Martin Necas each had six shots on goal, matching Aleksander Barkov for the game-high.
  • Barkov’s power-play goal was the 65th of his career, tying him with Olli Jokinen for second place in club history. He needs two more to break Scott Mellanby’s record.
  • For the other side of this match-up between two of the beasts of the east, visit Canes Country./