It is just one game, but it's a game the Carolina Hurricanes would like to forget as they fell behind 4-0 in the first period and dropped their opening game of the season to the Florida Panthers, 5-1 at BB&T Arena on Saturday night.
Cam Ward allowed a goal on the home team's first official shot of the season, (and Jonathan Huberdeau's first shot of his career), and ended up allowing four goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Dan Ellis to start the second period. Ellis finished out by allowing one goal on 13 shots the rest of the way.
The Hurricanes will need to work on special teams as they went 0-6 on the powerplay and allowed 3 goals on 6 official powerplays by Florida.
The Canes did mount some serious pressure in the Panther zone during the second period and outshot the Kats 17-9, but goalie Jose Theodore made some fine saves to hold the visitors at bay.
Midway through the second, Patrick Dwyer scored the lone goal of the game for Carolina off of an assist by Joni Pitkanen, who faked shot but lined a perfect pass to a waiting Dwyer in front of the net. The score was during a delayed call on an upcoming Panther penalty.
Brian Campbell scored two goals and Huberdeau had two assists to go with his goal to lead Florida.
- Coach Muller pretty much stayed with his original lines, although there were a couple of temporary changes here and there.
Drayson Bowman had a good showing considering he had 9:30 of ice time. The winger created multiple scoring opportunities and kept the puck in the Carolina zone on a nice play before the Dwyer goal. He led the team with five shots on goal.
- Joni Pitkanen and Justin Faulk both played over 25 minutes, leading the team with time on the ice.
- Jordan Staal was credited with a game high eight hits.
- Jussi Jokinen won 75% of his faceoffs, (9 of 12). Jordan Staal finished at 53%, Tim Brent 50%, and Eric Staal 38%.
- One unusually lopsided stat was that the Canes missed the net 25 times while the Panthers had just 4 shots off net.
- The Canes had 42 shots on goal compared to 25 for Florida, but it was 12-12 after the first period and the Panthers did not have to generate shots like the Canes did the rest of the way. Theodore had a solid game in net and made 41 saves on those 42 shots.
- Corey at the Shutdown Line tracked scoring chances as the Panthers led 9-6 after the opening period, but the Canes led 21-20 for the game.