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Canes storm past Cats for fifth straight win

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 Sunday night at PNC Arena to earn their fifth-straight win.

Sebastian Aho controls the puck through center ice into the Florida Panthers zone in PNC Arena, Sunday, Mar. 7, 2021.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Hurricanes won their fifth-straight game in a row as they defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 Sunday night at PNC Arena.

The team played a complete game that saw goals at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded and a full desperation effort to preserve the lead at the end.

Teuvo Teravainen was listed as a game-time decision coming into the match, but he did not draw in for the game. Teravainen played on Thursday in his first game back since missing the previous five before that due to a concussion, so there may be some lingering symptoms he is still battling. In his place, Steven Lorentz drew back into the lineup.

The first 10 minutes of the game was about as interesting as watching the resurfacing of the ice. Each team managed only one shot through the first 12 minutes of play, even despite each team having a full power play within that time.

However, the game gained a little mojo during the Canes’ second power play opportunity. Before the penalty on Florida could even be announced, it was none other than Vincent Trocheck in close to extend his point streak to five games.

Receiving a puck while next to the goal, he quickly turned and whipped the puck in far-side on Chris Driedger. Trocheck has now scored in every game he’s played against his former team.

In terms of the overall power play, it’s now scored in five-straight games and is clicking at over a 30% success rate and is top-five in the entire league.

The game’s physicality began to rise slightly as frustrations with either side’s inability to get through at 5-on-5, but with a constant cycle of calls, the game was difficult to find a flow in for the first.

In the second period though, the Canes got their skates under them. A few different rushes led to great opportunities, but nobody was breaking through the Florida netminder.

That was until Nino Niederreiter got an open look.

Starting from the defensive zone, Martin Necas took the puck and, with his elite skating, transitioned the puck up through the neutral zone. When he got to the O-zone, he drew both Panthers’ defenders into the center to defend against him.

As both collapsed, Necas saw the chance and dished it across to Niederreiter in the left-circle and with that open look, Nino sniped it home to give the Canes a 2-0 lead.

The Panthers would get right back into the game though off an offensive-zone faceoff a bit later, as defenseman MacKenzie Weegar bombed a shot from the blueline right through Reimer’s five-hole.

That goal seemed to wake the Hurricanes up a bit as they started to really go at Florida from there, but even despite great chances again and again, Carolina couldn’t bury them in that period.

The Canes had carry-over penalty time to open the third, but they looked like the team with the man-advantage.

After a Brock McGinn and Jordan Staal shorthanded chance was stopped, the puck got cleared back into Carolina’s zone.

From behind his own net and with ample time, Jaccob Slavin hit the stretch pass to the opposite blueline where Jordan Martinook and Sebastian Aho had set up. Martinook got the pass across to Aho and he waited just long enough to get Driedger to move and rung it around the top of the cage for the shorthanded tally.

And shortly after that, Warren Foegle broke loose from a defender and slid a puck in five-hole to extend the lead to 4-1.

Florida found one more goal, an easy back-door feed for Mason Marchment by Jonathan Huberdeau, but nothing after that.

The Carolina Hurricanes locked it down and battled through a sequence of desperation saves even while facing a 6-on-4 late in the period.

The win extends the Hurricanes’ winning streak to five and they’ll look to keep it going as they take on the Nashville Predators on March 9 at PNC Arena.