Carolina at Florida

Versteeg's slap shot goal in OT is winner

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- The points just keep coming for the Florida Panthers, especially on home ice.

Kris Versteeg scored 3:08 into overtime, giving the Panthers a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.

Stephen Weiss' shot from in front was blocked, but Versteeg found the loose puck and swept it in from the left side of the crease for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.

Sean Bergenheim and Jason Garrison also scored for Florida, and Jose Theodore made 24 saves. The Panthers have earned at least one point in eight straight home games, and their last 12 contests on their rink have been decided by one goal. The Panthers stretched their lead in the Southeast Division to eight points, tied with Boston for the largest edge in the NHL.

Tim Gleason and Chad LaRose had goals for the Hurricanes, who got 23 saves from Cam Ward. Carolina has lost 10 of 12, but earned points in four of the past five.

"When you go on the road and you play that well and you play a team that hasn't hardly lost in their rink, you've got to find ways to pick up a win," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "The next step we have to do is win these games."

Florida tied it 2-2 on Garrison's power-play goal in the third period. Garrison's shot from the point hit Ward's pads and trickled into the net at 5:47.

Carolina had taken a 2-1 lead at 13:45 of the second. LaRose got the puck away from Versteeg as he brought it out from behind the net, and his wrister from the left circle went over Theodore's right shoulder.

"After the giving the puck away in the second, you feel shamed. It doesn't feel good but you always try to come back and help the team however you can," Versteeg said. "Great goaltending, and it was just a fortunate play at the end."

Florida had a sluggish second period, managing just four shots on goal.

"We were skating in mud during the second period," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "They [Carolina] had a lot of energy and we weren't able to match that."

The Hurricanes had only two shots in the third period.

"There's a lot of things we have to work on and we have to play a complete sixty and finish out games," LaRose said.

The Panthers went ahead 1-0 on Bergenheim's first-period goal. Ed Jovanovski's shot went off the end boards and bounced out to Bergenheim, whose shot beat Ward at 4:16. It was Bergenheim's third goal in two games and fifth in nine contests. Jovanovski, who finished with two assists, had gone 16 games without a point.

The Hurricanes tied it at 1 when Gleason scored at 18:38 with a wrist shot from above the left circle that went between Theodore's pads. It was Gleason's first goal since Nov. 17, 2010 -- a span of 97 games.

"I got the puck to the net. I guess it went in finally for once," Gleason said.

Notes

  • Panthers 30-year-old center Greg Rallo was called up from San Antonio of the AHL on Saturday and made his NHL debut. Rallo is the second 30-year-old player to debut with the Panthers this season. Bracken Kearns played his first NHL game on Oct. 20 against Buffalo.
  • Bergenheim left the game in the second period because of a lower body injury and didn't return.
  • D Erik Gudbranson returned to the Panthers lineup after missing two games with a lower body injury.
  • Hurricanes C Jeff Skinner, the team's leading scorer, missed his fourth straight game because of a concussion.
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Kris Versteeg connects on his team-leading 16th goal 3:08 into overtime to lift the Panthers over the Hurricanes.  (Getty Images)
Kris Versteeg connects on his team-leading 16th goal 3:08 into overtime to lift the Panthers over the Hurricanes. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Carolina (10-18-6)11002
Florida  (18-9-6) «10113
Three Stars
K. Versteeg
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Garrison
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. LaRose
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:16 - Sean Bergenheim (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Matthias, Jovanovski
18:38 - Tim Gleason (1), Snap Shot. Assist: McBain, Ruutu
2ND PERIOD
13:45 - Chad LaRose (9), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
3RD PERIOD
05:47Power Play - Jason Garrison (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Samuelsson, Jovanovski
OT
03:08 - Kris Versteeg (16), Wrist Shot. Assist: Weiss, Campbell
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:39Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Tripping
06:57Samuelsson, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
05:45Weiss, 2 min, High-Sticking
3RD PERIOD
05:06Allen, 2 min, Kneeing
06:44Jokinen, 2 min, Boarding
13:33Versteeg, 2 min, Slashing
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
CAR716225
FLA841022
 
Other Games
Cal 2 Final
Chi 4
Colu 4 Final
StL 6