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Florida at Carolina

Panthers blow chance to win in Raleigh for first time since 2002

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two periods had passed, and the befuddled Carolina Hurricanes were in deep trouble. They trailed the Florida Panthers by three goals, benched their star goalie and could only hope for a late miracle.

"The whole team was in here (during the second intermission) and we knew what we had to do," center Chad LaRose said. "It wasn't any of the coaches. It was our leaders stepping in and letting us know what we had to get done. We had to dig a little bit deeper."

The result: A historic flurry of five goals in less than 10 minutes, and a most improbable come-from-behind victory.

Cory Stillman scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third, and the Hurricanes rallied from a three-goal deficit by matching a franchise record with six third-period goals in a 6-4 victory over Florida on Thursday night.

"For a lot of the second period, it seemed like we were worried about matchups (and) I don't think we were letting it fly like we were in the third period," left winger Erik Cole said.

Cole, LaRose, Scott Walker, Craig Adams and Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes, who scored their first five goals in an 8-minute, 22-second span of the third after falling behind 3-0 after two periods.

"Lousy two. Good one," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "We're capable of beating anybody in the league, and we're capable of a third period like that, and we don't compete very hard in the first two."

Whitney's goal, an empty-netter in the final seconds, closed a six-goal third period which tied the team record set Dec. 27, 1981, against Toronto when they were the Hartford Whalers.

Olli Jokinen scored two goals and Juraj Kolnik and Stephen Weiss added one goal apiece for the Panthers in what seemed like an easy victory but melted down into just another empty trip to Raleigh -- where they haven't won since Dec. 6, 2002.

"It's like something rotten in our stomachs," Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn said. "It's going to be a rough video to watch. We played two great periods and were getting stellar goaltending. We were scoring on our opportunities and we weren't giving up a lot.

"Then, somewhere between the second and the third (periods), our game changed," he added. "We got away from our game plan. We stopped wanting the puck."

Cam Ward stopped 28 shots in two periods, and was benched after allowing three goals in the second. John Grahame finished the game and stopped six shots.

"Cam Ward deserves every bit as much of that win as Johnny Grahame was, because Cam Ward was pretty darn good for two periods," Laviolette said. "We failed in front of him."

The Hurricanes won after trailing by three goals for the first time since Nov. 5. 1998, when the New York Islanders blew a 3-0 lead and lost to Carolina 6-3.

Alex Auld stopped 21 shots but gave up five goals for Florida.

Down 3-0 after two periods, LaRose started the comeback when he flipped the puck past Auld from the right circle. Cole made it a one-goal game 1 minute, 26 seconds later with a wrister and Walker tied it at 3-3 with a wraparound goal between Auld's legs.

Then came Stillman's game-winner on the power play. Andrew Hutchinson faked a shot and passed to Stillman as he maneuvered into the slot and beat Auld with a wrist shot with 10:25 to play.

"I thought he was shooting it at the goalie, too, and if it's not on my stick, obviously, it goes right in the corner," Stillman said. "I put my stick on it and found the back of the net."

The Panthers seemed to have taken control during a dominant second period in which they outshot the Hurricanes 19-8 and scored their first two goals in a span of 50 seconds.

"When we play like that in the third, there's definitely no excuses for the first two periods," LaRose said.

First, Kolnik made it 1-0 when he positioned himself near the goal mouth, muscled a rebound past Ward off the left post with 8:01 left. Then, Ville Peltonen came up the left side and passed to Jokinen, who skated inside the left circle and beat Ward high with a wrist shot at 7:11.

"We should be able to hold a three-goal lead," Jokinen said. "It's embarrassing."

Notes

  • Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour had three assists, while C Eric Belanger and Hutchinson each had two.
  • Whitney wore an "A" on his sweater after alternate captain Kevyn Adams was traded earlier in the week to Phoenix.
  • Hurricanes D Glen Wesley (lower-body injury) missed his third straight game.
  • Florida fell to 1-8 when playing the second of back-to-back games and has an Eastern Conference-worst five road victories.
  • The Hurricanes have scored one first-period goal in their last six games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Stephen Weiss makes it 3-0 Panthers, but that cushion does not stand before all scoring is done. (AP)
Stephen Weiss makes it 3-0 Panthers, but that cushion does not stand before all scoring is done. (AP)

Scoreboard
Florida (15-21-9)0314
Carolina  (24-18-4) «0066
Three Stars
C. LaRose
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
E. Belanger
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
R. Brind'Amour
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
11:59Juraj Kolnik (5), Tip-In - Assists: Jay Bouwmeester, Stephen Weiss
12:49Olli Jokinen (20), Slap Shot - Assists: Ville Peltonen, Chris Gratton
16:33Stephen Weiss (8), Tip-In - Assists: Juraj Kolnik, Mike Van Ryn
3RD PERIOD
01:40Chad LaRose (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Scott Walker, Andrew Hutchinson
03:06Erik Cole (19), Wrist Shot - Assists: Rod Brind'Amour, Anton Babchuk
08:02Scott Walker (14), Wrap Shot - Assists: Eric Belanger, Chad LaRose
09:35Power Play - Cory Stillman (2), Tip-In - Assists: Andrew Hutchinson, Rod Brind'Amour
10:02Craig Adams (7), Backhand Shot - Assists: Mike Commodore, Eric Belanger
19:04Power Play - Olli Jokinen (21), Slap Shot - Assists: Jozef Stumpel, Stephen Weiss
19:47Ray Whitney (17), Empty Net - Assists: Rod Brind'Amour, Erik Cole
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:46Peltonen: Interference - 2 min.
06:32Babchuk: Interference - 2 min.
13:14Salei: Hooking - 2 min.
18:27Salei: Interference - 2 min.
19:51Staal: Interference - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
07:59Stillman: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
05:00Booth: Tripping - 2 min.
08:28Olesz: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
18:30Williams: Holding - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Florida1219738
Carolina681327
 
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