The Carolina Hurricanes went two straight games without a goal and were shutout again in the first period by Tim Thomas, who looked to be on top of his game, but they ended up lighting the lamp three times, twice by Alexander Semin, to get past the Florida Panthers on Saturday night in front of 15,476 at the PNC Arena.
Anton Khudobin was strong again in net as he made 37 saves on 39 shots to push his record to 7-2-0 this season.
Thomas made a few highlight reel saves in the first period to keep the score 0-0 as the Canes had two powerplay opportunities and created several chances, but Khudobin was also equal to the task as he shut down the Panthers until late in the second period.
After the scoreless first period, Riley Nash put the home team up 1-0 at 3:37 into the second period when he knocked in a rebound from a Radek Dvorak shot. Dvorak made a beauty of a play keeping the puck in the zone and fired it at the net.
The score stayed tied until Semin fired in a loose puck after an Eric Staal faceoff win to put the home team up 2-1. The goal came just 2:31 into the third.
The Russian would score again about six minutes later when he broke into the clear during a penalty kill situation. Staal picked up the assist this time as well, as he found his linemate with a nifty backhanded pass.
It was the team's ninth shorthanded goal of the season, which leads the NHL.
The Panthers scored again to make things interesting with five minutes and change left, but the Canes held on the rest of the way to put an end to their two game losing streak.
The Hurricanes will take on the Lightning to complete their homestand tomorrow night at 5 p.m.
- It was the first multi-goal game as a Hurricane for Semin, who also had a team high eight shots on goal. The Russian had perfect timing for a good game as it came just a couple of days after public criticism from his general manager.
- Jordan Staal had a team high four hits.
- Both teams had 39 shots on goal.
- Manny Malhotra won 67% of his faceoffs.
- The team was credited with 17 takeaways for the game and continue to lead the NHL in that category.
- Canes PR got a rare post game Semin interview here, Canes PR.com.