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Four In A Row: Hurricanes 3, Panthers 1

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The Carolina Hurricanes continued their winning ways as they defeated the also streaking Florida Panthers, 3-1 on Wednesday night at the PNC Arena. The Canes extended their winning streak to a season best four games while ending the Cats' at five.

The Hurricanes also have an unusual scoring streak going as they have scored at least one goal in 10 straight periods of play.

Eric Staal stayed hot and got the scoring started less than a minute into the game on a wrap around chance that banked in past Jose Theodore.

Mid way through the second period, Joni Pitkanen made the score 2-0 when he took a nice drop pass from countryman Tuomo Ruutu and blistered a shot to the net. This was Pitkanen's first game after a 44 game hiatus.

Florida made it 2-1 less than two minutes later when a shot went in off of Pitkanen's skate, but Staal would score again on a powerplay attempt 8:14 into the third. It was the captain's 23rd of the season.

The club hits the road again and will face Columbus on Friday night.

Game Notes:

  • Joni Pitkanen had a great debut after a long absence, at least on the scoresheet. He finished with a goal, an assist, and was helpful moving the puck. He also finished with 18:49 of TOI, had four shots on goal, and one blocked shot.
  • The team outshot Florida, 39-31. Staal had a team best seven while Ruutu and Skinner had five each.
  • Cam Ward was solid and allowed just one goal on those 31 shots.
  • Ruutu also had five hits, a team high. They were credited with a total of 18.
  • Bryan Allen led the way with five blocked shots. Jamie McBain had four.
  • Staal not only had two goals and seven shots, he won 67% of his draws for the game and led the team with 23:20 of ice time. The team finished at 53% in the faceoff circle.

Post game interviews: