From the Coach
[The first intermission] was very positive for me. I’m coming off the bench, last guy in the room, and they’re already talking about what’s going on and what they need to do. We put some stuff together, came back at the seven-minute mark, and asked what they talked about so that we didn’t waste their time. They had a great little meeting. It was a players meeting, not a coaches’ meeting. Give them all the credit.
We played at such a high level for so long, and we had been at a high level at home prior to going on the road, and we weren’t at that level to start. They were aware of it, and they fixed it. Good for them.
We needed somewhere to start. We got a starting point and built off it. Real good pass from Tennyson to Stalberg, then it’s tied, then we capitalized on a power play. We did a good job playing with the lead. You could tell that both teams played last night. They skated better than us early, then once we got skating we looked better.
Once it was 3-2, Leighton made four or five big saves. He was great. He got the chop wood, carry water award. Four years since his last start, six years since his last win. He was good — really good. If your goaltender gives up two, you have a good chance. He’s a good goaltender. He’s got some good experience under his belt. That was a sneaky good signing by Ronnie in the summer.
In the Room
I felt better as the game went on. The first couple goals were kind of fluky goals, and I got more comfortable. That’s what’s been going on all year, feeling comfortable and making the saves I have to make.
I was looking for the ref to make a call (on the first goal). On the second goal, it hit my shoulder, I was expecting it to land in my glove, and next thing I know it’s in the net.
We knew we had to play better in the second period. We came out flying, and that made my job a little bit easier.
I wasn’t trying to get a goal. I was just trying to clear the zone. I didn’t want to stop and cover it, and I was just trying to get it down. Good thing I don’t have a good shot or it could have gone in the goal.
It felt really nice to get the first goal up here. When I get the opportunity on the power play, I have to capitalize on it. It was nice to get the lead at that point of the game.
We just came out flat. We played last night, traveled, got in late, and we weren’t prepared for the game. We didn’t come into the rink and get ourselves ready to play. We hold ourselves to a high standard. Some players stepped up and said a few things. Everyone knew we had to contribute a little more, get a little better, and I think everyone did that.
It’s a big win. The last couple games we have been right there and haven’t found a way to get the result. Tonight after the first period we had a good response, and this time we were able to find a way to dig deep and get the result we wanted.
The first period wasn’t good enough. There aren’t many ways to put it. We wanted to get better, and I think we did a good job coming out in the second and responding. Everyone’s aware of the standard we hold ourselves to. Especially in our home building, you want to come out and have a better start. It wasn’t good enough, but we came back.
It’s a tough loss. No one person’s going to fill that void. Good job by everyone stepping up to get a win.
- How's this for breaking news an hour after the game? Lose to the Canes, lose your job. Wow.
- Even before the media could ask the question, Bill Peters said he did not have an update on Jordan Staal. He hoped to be able to provide one tomorrow, but he said that he hadn’t spoken to the medical staff yet.
- The Canes’ win was the first against the Panthers since March of 2014. It snapped a six-game losing streak to the Panthers.
- The win was also the Canes’ fifth straight at home, their longest winning streak on home ice since January 24-February 11, 2010.
- Leighton’s start tonight was his first in the NHL since January 27, 2013 and was his first win since December 30, 2010.
- Despite the Canes giving up a power-play goal for the first time in three and a half weeks, they still lead their nearest competition on the penalty kill by three full percentage points. They’ve allowed just five power play goals all year.
- Skinner’s two-point night gives him the team lead in goals (9), assists (10) and points (19), over Victor Rask who is second in all three categories.
- The second period on Sunday was the third time this season the Canes have scored three goals in a single period. It happened earlier against the Flyers (4-3 loss on October 30) and the Canadiens (3-2 win on November 18). Interestingly, all three were on home ice.
- The Canes catch a flight to New York in the afternoon to start another three-game road trip against the Rangers on Tuesday.