The Florida Panthers scored six consecutive goals while jumping out to a 6-1 lead and embarrassed the Carolina Hurricanes last night at Sunrise, Florida by a final score of 6-3. The Canes chipped in two goals after the game was out of reach to make things look somewhat respectable, but for all intents and purposes, the game was over when the Panthers chased Carolina goalie Cam Ward with the score 5-1 early in the third period.
After an evenly played first period, the Carolina goalie and the defense looked very deficient at times in the second and third periods. The Panthers seemed to score almost at will, lighting the lamp at 6:29, 9:25, and 11:05 in the second. All three goals were scored by defensemen, (Leopold, McCabe, and Ballard).
In the third, the home team scored two goals within 37 seconds, an all too familiar trademark of this season's Carolina squad. After Cam Ward was pulled, the Panthers would score yet again, this time on a shorthanded chance by Dominic Moore.
Looking for positives? The Canes continued to play like the worst team in the league, something which should guarantee them a highly rated draft pick this summer. But it's tough for fans to watch a performance like that one.
Patrick Dwyer started the game's scoring with a very nice shot off of a sweet pass by Bryan Rodney. But the 1-0 lead was very short term. Just 1:02 later, Florida began their scoring barrage. By the time it was eight minutes into the third period, the score was 6-1 and the Florida faithful were celebrating the win.
Scott Walker surprised Tomas Vokoun and got a puck by him on a rush and Eric Staal put back a rebound to complete the scoring.
The Canes put their pride on the line as they face this team again on Saturday night, this time in Raleigh. Cory will be covering the game for us and will be reporting from the RBC.
- Carolina had 35 shots on goal led by Joni Pitkanen and Eric Staal with six each.
- Pitkanen again played over 30 minutes, (30:30). When it is an overtime game, that total is somewhat understandable. But that is a lot of minutes to play in a regulation game. He did look a bit tired.
- The team was credited with 25 hits led by Tuomo Ruutu with five. Andrew Alberts and Scott Walker had four each.
- The Canes had a total of five blocked shots. Dennis Seidenberg led Florida with four as the home team combined for 13.
- Eric Staal extended his scoring streak to four games with his goal, but finished with a -3.