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Carolina's Powerplay Woes Continue: Panthers 3, Hurricanes 1

The Florida Panthers ruined new Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller's debut on Tuesday night as the visitors defeated the home team, 3-1 in front of 13,065 at the RBC. It was the fourth loss in a row for Carolina and their 11th loss in their last 14 games.

The Canes had plenty of chances with the man advantage -- and lead the NHL in that category -- but went 0-5 while on the powerplay for the game. The Panthers scored the first goal of the contest while on their first powerplay and officially ended up going 1-2 on the night.

Carolina carried the play for much of two periods, dominated total shot attempts, and held their opposition to one of the lowest shot on goal totals of the season, (21), but it still was not enough to claim victory.

After a slow first period for Florida, in which the Hurricanes held the team to just two shots on goal, Tomas Fleischmann started off the scoring midway through the second with a perfect shot which banged in off the post. It was his 11th goal of the season.

But Jeff Skinner tied things up just 1:04 later when he took an Eric Staal pass in on Jose Theodore.

The score remained tied until 16:41 into the third when Shawn Matthias got loose behind Tomas Kaberle and banged in a puck past Cam Ward. It was a fluke goal of sorts as the shooter banked in the shot off the goalie.

The Canes would pull Ward to get an extra skater, but Matthias scored again into the empty net to put it away.

After the game, coach Muller said the team did what he asked of them, they skated hard. He also mentioned that he felt the third period might not have been as good as the first two, and that much work needed to be done on the powerplay.

The Canes will practice tomorrow and then take on the Rangers at the RBC on Thursday night.

Game Notes:

  • The team is now 0-5-1 when tied after two periods.
  • Jeff Skinner's goal was his 10th of the season. He also had a team high five shots on goal.
  • The on ice distribution was about the same as under Maurice. Staal had 22:19, Pitkanen had a team high 24:10, and the fourth line had about seven minutes each with Anthony Stewart low man at 6:21.
  • Their faceoff percentage was 49% (Staal 42%, Sutter 62%, Jokinen 50%, Brent 50%)
  • The Canes were credited with 25 hits, led by Tuomo Ruutu with five.
  • Carolina dominated puck possession and total shot attempts. In all, the team sent out 65 shots, (27 on net, 18 blocked, 20 missed). Florida had a total of 35, (20 on net, eight blocked, and six missed.)
  • Cam Ward stopped a Jack Skille penalty shot in the third period.