Carolina at Florida

Stillman scores twice in Carolina victory vs. Florida wire reports

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Carolina Hurricanes worked hard to get Peter Laviolette his 200th NHL coaching victory. A few flukey goals sure came in handy, too.

The Hurricanes scored three unusual goals in the third period, including Cory Stillman's winner with 1:09 left, to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 Monday night.

"Funny goals, really," Laviolette said. "I like the effort we put in. We really worked, Florida really worked, and it was an up-and-down hockey game."

Laviolette recorded his 123rd victory with Carolina, following 77 during two seasons as coach of the New York Islanders.

"I'm fortunate to be here with a good team with good players," he said. "I guess it's a milestone. It's more important to get the win and keep pushing forward with this group."

Stillman netted the decisive goal shortly after teammate Erik Cole was removed from the ice on a stretcher following a collision with Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Cole was injured at 12:34 as he was driving to the net. He was checked from behind by defenseman Jassen Cullimore and crashed headfirst into Vokoun's pads. Cole remained motionless for several minutes before being placed on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.

Cole was released from the Cleveland Clinic in Weston later Monday night and was cleared to fly after a CT scan was negative.

He was expected to join the Hurricanes' flight to Tampa on Tuesday morning and will continue to be monitored by the team's medical staff, Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement.

"He had some pain in his trapezoid area and I think with his previous injury, not knowing what's going on in there, it's just better to be safe," Laviolette said.

The veteran of six NHL seasons is less than two years removed from a serious neck injury. Cole sustained a fractured vertebra on March 4, 2006, when he was boarded by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik.

He missed the remainder of that regular season and Carolina's first 23 playoff games before making a surprise return to the Hurricanes lineup for the final two contests of the Stanley Cup finals when the team won its only NHL championship.

Stillman netted the winner when his backhanded pass from behind the net hit Vokoun's pad and Florida defenseman Steve Montador's stick and found its way into the net.

Jason Williams also scored twice for the Hurricanes, who beat Florida for the ninth time in 10 meetings. Ray Whitney had two assists, extending his point streak to 10 games.

Jozef Stumpel, Stephen Weiss and David Booth scored for the Panthers, who have lost three in a row.

"I thought we battled hard and we probably deserved a better fate," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "I think the key is to play hard like this every night and you will win your share of games."

Cam Ward stopped 27 shots for Carolina, and Vokoun finished with 32 saves.

The game was tied 1-1 after two periods before Carolina took control with some fortunate offense.

Stillman had given Carolina a 2-1 lead 52 seconds into the third when he faked a dump-in on a power play and instead shot at the net, catching Vokoun out of position.

"I lifted my head and saw he was behind the net, so I just took a shot from center," Stillman said. "As soon as I wound up I could see he was starting to cheat."

Carolina associate coach Kevin McCarthy told his players before the game that Vokoun had a tendency to leave the net early on dump-ins to play the puck behind the net.

"That was just a bad mistake by me," Vokoun said. "I left early, there's no reason for that. It was a bad play, and it ended up costing us a goal."

After Weiss tied it off a nifty setup from Booth 18 seconds later, Williams gave the Hurricanes the lead again at 3:39. Williams' wrist shot from long range floated above Vokoun's right shoulder and dipped in right under the crossbar.

"Sometimes shots go in," Williams said. "You saw mine, just across the blue line, shooting pucks. Vokoun was really solid. He made some big saves. Give them credit, they battled back hard as they did last time we played them. This time we had the better of them."

Booth made it 3-3 when he banged home a loose puck 3 seconds after Florida's power play expired.


  • Florida recalled C Stefan Meyer and LW Tanner Glass from Rochester of the AHL, and put both into the lineup.
  • Florida LW Richard Zednik (flu) and C Brett McLean (broken hand) both sat out.
  • Whitney's first assist was his 100th with Carolina.
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Carolina's Eric Cole is taken off the ice on a stretcher after being checked from behind. (AP)
Carolina's Eric Cole is taken off the ice on a stretcher after being checked from behind. (AP)
Related Links
Carolina  (11-4-3) «1034
Florida (7-11-0)1023
Three Stars
C. Stillman

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
D. Booth

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
J. Williams

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:56Jozef Stumpel (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Olli Jokinen, Nathan Horton
18:21Justin Williams (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Frantisek Kaberle, Ray Whitney
52.0Power Play - Cory Stillman (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Matt Cullen, Rod Brind'Amour
01:10Stephen Weiss (2), Snap Shot. Assist: David Booth, Cory Murphy
03:31Justin Williams (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Matt Cullen, Ray Whitney
12:02David Booth (3), Tip-In. Assist: Ville Peltonen, Steve Montador
18:54Cory Stillman (11), Tip-In. Assist: Trevor Letowski, Mike Commodore
Penalty Summary
04:56Van Ryn, 2 min, Holding
08:45Weiss, 2 min, Hooking
10:38Booth, 2 min, Slashing
18:57Salei, 2 min, Holding
04:40Jokinen, 2 min, Cross-Checking
05:44Cole, 2 min, Hooking
06:21Van Ryn, 2 min, Holding
14:31Seidenberg, 2 min, Interference
21.0Dvorak, 2 min, Tripping
06:56Weiss, 2 min, Interference
09:55Hedican, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Cam Ward59:56283
Tomas Vokoun59:20324
Game Information
Attendance - 12715
Referees - Mick McGeough, Dean Warren
Linesmen - Jay Sharrers, Jean Morin
Other Games
Pho 0 Final
SJ 5
Nash 4 Final
Colu 1
NJ 3 Final
Pitt 2
NYI 2 Final
Phi 3