The Carolina Hurricanes had a bit of a slow start and fell behind 3-1 early in the third period, but then came roaring back to tie it before losing to the Florida Panthers, 4-3 in overtime, in front of 16,637 at the RBC on Monday night.
Zach Boychuk and Zac Dalpe each scored goals and both players were rewarded with promotions and more playing time as the game progressed. Boychuk was moved to the first line with Eric Staal and Erik Cole while Dalpe moved up a line to play with Brandon Sutter and Patrick Dwyer.
Paul Maurice was not happy with Sergei Samsonov's game and moved him further and further down the bench.
The team was slow to start things off in the Florida zone as it seemed like only the fourth line was creating any solid chances. That line was finally rewarded 15:47 into the contest when Troy Bodie took the puck away from Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen behind the net and fed it to Dalpe, who somehow got the puck over the goal line. The play was reviewed to see if he kicked it in, but there was no kicking motion so the score counted.
Florida would tie it though, late in the period as Dennis Wideman beat Cam Ward with a blast from the blueline with just 32 seconds on the clock.
Florida took a 2-1 lead in the second period when Chris Higgins scored right in front of the Carolina net. The Canes had a few chances of their own during the period, but were unable to convert.
Cory Stillman opened the third with a perfect shot just 5:11 into the period and it looked like the Panthers might have closed the game out. But Boychuk gave the first line some life and was all over the ice. Erik Cole found him alone in the slot area and he made no mistake, roofing it past Clemmensen just 53 seconds after the Stillman goal.
When asked about moving Boychuk up, Maurice said, "I like watching that kid play."
The crowd got into the game in a big way and the Hurricanes dominated the rest of the third, out-shooting the Cats 16-6. Jay Harrison tied the game up with a blast from the point with just over 10 minutes left, but the Canes could not get another one past the Florida netminder.
In OT, Cole made a nice move and created a great chance, but was stopped. Florida held the puck in the Carolina zone for a bit and then Bryan Allen rifled in the game winner from the blueline.
Quick Thoughts and Stats:
- The Hurricanes deserve credit for bringing up the needed desperation in the third period, but some will wonder why it didn't come earlier.
- The team out-shot the Panthers 37-28 thanks to the dominant third period. Eric Staal led the way with five shots.
- The Canes brought their physical game and out-hit the Cats 46-19. But for all the hits, they did not seem to create many chances because of them. The scoresheet only had the Panthers with two giveaways, including Clemmensen's. Tuomo Ruutu had eight hits, Patrick Dwyer had six, and Tim Gleason and Boychuk had five each.
- Gleason and Harrison each had four blocked shots. The team combined for a total of 21.
- Maurice singled out Sergei Samsonov in a negative way in the postgame interview. It will be interesting to see what happens with the lineup against New York on Wednesday night, especially with Jussi Jokinen expected to return.
- While the Canes have a good record on the road, (10-8-3), they need to establish themselves at home, (8-7-2), if they want to have a successful season.