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Hurricanes upend Panthers, spoil debut of DeBoer

Oct 11, 2008 - 3:50 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Six different players scored a goal for the Carolina Hurricanes to spoil the coaching debut of Peter DeBoer with a 6-4 triumph over the Florida Panthers on Friday in the season opener for both teams.

Tuomo Ruutu, Ray Whitney, captain Rod Brind'Amour, defenseman Joni Pitkanen and Dan LaCouture tallied for Carolina, which improved to 7-15-7 in season-opening games.

Former Panther Matt Cullen added an empty-net goal with 26 seconds remaining and defenseman Tim Gleason notched three assists for the Hurricanes, who rallied from an early two-goal deficit.

David Booth and former Hurricane Cory Stillman each recorded a goal and an assist while Radek Dvorak and Nathan Horton also tallied for Florida, which fell to 6-6-3 in season openers.

"Those are home openers for you - or road openers," DeBoer said, quickly correcting himself. "You can expect the unexpected. Coming into the game, I didn't think we'd give up six goals. Although we did do some good things, giving up only 24 shots, I also didn't think we'd score four, and we did.

"We're going to dwell on the positives. The guys played right to the buzzer. We had some bad breaks around our net, but that's the way it goes."

With Carolina clinging to a 4-3 lead, LaCouture gave the Hurricanes some breathing room at 3:32 of the third period. After defenseman Niclas Wallin's shot from the left faceoff circle was kicked away by Tomas Vokoun, LaCouture gathered the rebound and beat the netminder for the eventual game-winning tally.

"I saw Nic go to the middle and he just fired a shot, and it came right off," LaCouture said. "They didn't really have a defenseman around me and I just wanted to make sure I was able to get the shot off quick enough before he was able to slide over. There's no better feeling."

"He's worked hard. He's a good kid," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said of LaCouture, who earned a contract after attending training camp on a tryout basis. "He's worked hard to get himself back into this position and he got an opportunity with some of the injuries we have right now. He got an opportunity to step in and sign a contract here, and that (his performance) is what he's done all camp. Whatever you've asked of him, whatever it might be. ... Everyone's happy to see him score a goal."

Horton halved the deficit with a power-play tally with 8:29 remaining, but the Panthers could not net the equalizer.

Cam Ward finished with 29 saves for the Hurricanes, while Vokoun turned aside 18 shots.

"It was not my best night," Vokoun said. "As a goalie, you have to make the saves. Sometimes it's a bad break. It does not matter if it's in the net. We didn't win, and that's not the result we were looking for."

"We didn't lose because of Tomas Vokoun," DeBoer said. "It's early in the season. There's a lot of things we need to work on as a group. We'll get back to the the drawing board. We did a lot of good things."

Playing in his first game with the Hurricanes since being acquired from Edmonton in the offseason, Pitkanen admitted to having early jitters. However, the Finn settled down and unleashed a shot from the right faceoff circle that slipped past a thoroughly screened Vokoun with 5:15 remaining in the second period to give Carolina a 4-3 advantage.

"First couple of periods, I was maybe nervous, but (the game) slowed down and got better," Pitkanen said. "It was fun to play the first game here."

Panthers veteran Bryan McCabe suffered an apparent left leg injury in the second period. After sizing up fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for a hip check along the boards, McCabe immediately crumpled to the ice.

The 33-year-old was helped off the ice by trainers and taken to the locker room. He did not return.

"We're evaluating him now," DeBoer said. "The doctors will know more (on Saturday)."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 2 1 1 4
    CAROLINA 2 2 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 1 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 4:13
    FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 1 (BRYAN MCCABE, STEPHEN WEISS)
    6:07
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 1 (DENNIS SEIDENBERG, FRANTISEK
    KABERLE) 9:06
    CAR - RAY WHITNEY 1 (PATRICK

    Oct 10 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    CAROLINA 6
    3RD PRD: CAR - MATT CULLEN 1 (UNASSISTED) 19:34

    Panthers 4, Hurricanes 6  3rd - 0:26Oct 10 9:36 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Panthers 4, Hurricanes 6  3rd - 0:26Oct 10 9:36 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Panthers 4, Hurricanes 5  3rd - 1:35Oct 10 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 4
    CAROLINA 5
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 1 (CORY STILLMAN, NICK BOYNTON) 11:31

    Panthers 4, Hurricanes 5  3rd - 8:29Oct 10 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    CAROLINA 5
    3RD PRD: CAR - DAN LACOUTURE 1 (NICLAS WALLIN, BRANDON SUTTER) 3:32

    Panthers 3, Hurricanes 5  3rd - 16:28Oct 10 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 2 1 3
    CAROLINA 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 1 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 4:13
    FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 1 (BRYAN MCCABE, STEPHEN WEISS)
    6:07
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 1 (DENNIS SEIDENBERG, FRANTISEK
    KABERLE) 9:06
    CAR - RAY WHITN

    Oct 10 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    CAROLINA 4
    2ND PRD: CAR - JONI PITKANEN 1 (TIM GLEASON) 14:45

    Panthers 3, Hurricanes 4  2nd - 5:15Oct 10 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    CAROLINA 3
    2ND PRD: FLA - RADEK DVORAK 1 (DAVID BOOTH, KAMIL KREPS) 13:10

    Panthers 3, Hurricanes 3  2nd - 6:50Oct 10 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    CAROLINA 3
    2ND PRD: CAR - ROD BRIND'AMOUR 1 (FRANTISEK KABERLE) 6:35

    Panthers 2, Hurricanes 3  2nd - 13:25Oct 10 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 2 2
    CAROLINA 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 1 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 4:13
    FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 1 (BRYAN MCCABE, STEPHEN WEISS)
    6:07
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 1 (DENNIS SEIDENBERG, FRANTISEK
    KABERLE) 9:06
    CAR - RAY WHITN

    Oct 10 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    CAROLINA 2
    1ST PRD: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 1 (PATRICK EAVES, TIM GLEASON) 17:27

    Panthers 2, Hurricanes 2  1st - 2:33Oct 10 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 1 (DENNIS SEIDENBERG, FRANTISEK
    KABERLE) 9:06

    Panthers 2, Hurricanes 1  1st - 10:54Oct 10 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 1 (BRYAN MCCABE, STEPHEN WEISS) 6:07

    Panthers 2, Hurricanes 0  1st - 13:53Oct 10 7:22 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 1 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 4:13

    Panthers 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 15:47Oct 10 7:18 PM