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Canes battle back, fall short to Panthers in overtime

The Carolina Hurricanes lost 4-3 in overtime to the Florida Panthers Saturday night at PNC Arena after battling back from an early two-goal deficit.

Seth Jarvis follows the puck during the game against the Florida Panthers, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2021 in PNC Arena. The Canes lost in overtime, 3-4.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Carolina Hurricanes managed to snag away a point even in defeat as they fell to the Florida Panther in overtime.

The Canes looked like a team that had been off for an extended break and then was asked to play a back-to-back against one of the league’s top offensive teams and... oh wait, that’s exactly what happened.

The Panthers had the jump from the start, and it was Jonathan Huberdeau who scored through the five-hole of Alex Lyon on Florida’s first shot of the game just over a minute into the contest.

Lyon — who hadn’t played a game in weeks even in the AHL — had been thrown to the fire with this assignment and the rust showed early. But he battled hard and strung together a respectable 32-save performance despite the bumpy start.

The Canes managed to keep it close early on their first power play opportunity, as Teuvo Teravainen lasered a shot to the top corner, beating Sergei Bobrovsky.

Tony DeAngelo would pick up his 100th career assist with the primary helper on the goal.

But the game featured a lot of what can be considered ‘chaos’ — bouncing pucks, ruts in the ice, awkward trajectories — all aided by the low-quality ice conditions created by the NC State basketball game hosted at PNC Arena just a couple of hours prior to puck drop.

It wasn’t pretty and the Canes seemed to be getting the worst of it.

After Derek Stepan wiped out near the boards, Florida sprung a 2-on-1 rush and Carter Verhaeghe kept it and wristed one past Lyon who only managed to get barely a piece of the puck.

It was clear that the Panthers had more pep in their step tonight and that showed especially in the first two periods. Right at the start of the second, Verhaeghe struck again with another wrist shot snipe that Lyon couldn’t stop despite the clear sight line.

The Canes struggled to maintain the zone and generate offense and on the flip side the Panthers kept them hemmed in most of the time.

But the Canes managed a bit here and there and got a critical goal late in the second thanks to a faceoff win.

Despite getting checked in the back in the circle, Jordan Staal still managed to pull the puck back to Brett Pesce who fed it across to Brady Skjei who then obliterated the puck to extend his goal streak to three games and bring the game within one.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour had begun juggling his lines in the second period, but it wasn’t till the third period that it bore fruit.

With a promotion back to the top line, Seth Jarvis tied the game up with his sixth goal of the year.

While his shot was something to behold, the real deal part of the goal was his skating ability that even made the shot possible.

The forwards reloaded for an entry and Sebastian Aho laid it up for Jarvis and the 19-year old rookie took it across the blueline and burst between the defense, getting separation with just two strides and finding the twine.

The Canes were put into survival mode from there as they weathered two Florida power plays and spent the majority of the period in their own zone, but the defense did their jobs and secured at least one point after 60 minutes.

Overtime featured an early chance from Andrei Svechnikov, but the difference in the game was playing for possession in overtime.

Twice the Canes tried to force the puck through while the Panthers instead opted to reload multiple times for better looks.

It was on the second of those forces — a Skjei stretch pass that was picked off along the walls — that sealed the game as Anthony Duclair was set up right in front of the net to ice the game with some silky mitts.

The Canes will go on the road for just one game as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday at 7 p.m.