Hurricanes
Panthers
3 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Whitney lifts Hurricanes over Panthers

Mar 24, 2009 - 4:26 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (AP) -- Ray Whitney made sure that an ugly game had a good-looking finish.

Whitney scored 1:37 into overtime to lead the surging Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

"It certainly wasn't a game you'd try to sell a new market on, that's for sure," Whitney said. "We took the skill out of it. We're proud of what we did. Obviously the point helps them, but the two points certainly helps us."

Tuomo Ruutu and Patrick Eaves also scored for Carolina, which improved to 8-1-2 in its last 11 games and moved past Pittsburgh into fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina won four straight in six days.

Jay Bouwmeester and Cory Stillman scored for Florida, which has lost six of seven. The Panthers tied idle Montreal for eighth in the East with 81 points. Florida has played one more game.

"It's better than nothing," Bouwmeester said of the one point. "It's good that we battled back, but we put ourselves in that position. I guess we'll take anything, but the extra point would have been good."

Cam Ward, in his 22nd consecutive start for Carolina, made 37 saves. Tomas Vokoun stopped 28 shots.

The Panthers, who went 1-2-2 on their five-game homestand, welcomed back forward Nathan Horton. Their second-leading goal scorer had missed six games because of a finger injury.

Whitney scored his 24th goal of the season when he one-timed a cross-ice feed from Joni Pitkanen inside the left circle.

"You had your best players at the end, Cam Ward and Ray Whitney, (come through)," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "What a play for (Whitney). A win on the road against a team that works its butt off every night, we're real happy with it."

Carolina led 2-1 until Stillman tied it with 4:05 left in the third period during Carolina's 5-on-3 power play. After Ward deflected Horton's pass from the side of the net, the puck was knocked over to the side during a jam in front. Stillman was there to put a shot home.

"We got rewarded for working hard," Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. "We played hard tonight right from the first period through to the end."

Eaves scored the only goal of the second period at 19:47. After taking a short pass from Rod Brind'Amour, Eaves skated around defenseman Karlis Skrastins and lost control of the puck as he cut to the front of the net. The loose puck went off Eaves' left skate and off the leg of the sprawling Vokoun before trickling in.

The play began after Carolina intercepted Florida's clearing attempt just outside the blue line while making a line change.

"I think it could have been either too many men or offside," DeBoer said. "We had them for both. Take your choice. That happens. We got a few of those go our way over the month. That's something you have to deal with."

Ruutu tied it 1-1 at 13:47 of the first period with a power-play goal. Vokoun stopped Anton Babchuk's slap shot from the point, but Ruutu grabbed the rebound as he was skating in from the side of the net. He skated around Vokoun and flipped the puck into the top of the net.

"We're winning some games the ugly way, we're winning some pretty games," Whitney said. We're winning in a bunch of different fashions."

Bouwmeester opened the scoring at 8:30 after Carolina turned over the puck behind the net. Stillman stole Babchuk's no-look backhand pass and fed Bouwmeester in the slot. Bouwmeester beat Ward with a low wrist shot to the blocker side.

It was Florida's NHL-leading 44th goal of the season by a defenseman, setting a team record. The Panthers established the previous mark during the 1995-96 season when they advanced to the Stanley Cup finals.

"I think we played hard, we played well," DeBoer said. "We played a good hockey game. Ward made some big saves for them at critical times. It was a hard-fought point. Maybe we deserved better, but that's the way it goes this time of year."






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    Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2  Final - OTMar 24 1:30 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1 0 1 3
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 0 2 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - JAY BOUWMEESTER 14 (CORY STILLMAN) 8:30
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 23 (ANTON BABCHUK, ERIC STAAL) 13:47
    2ND PRD: CAR - PATRICK EAVES 6 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, SERGEI SAMSONOV)


    Mar 23 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 3
    FLORIDA 2
    OT: CAR - RAY WHITNEY 24 (JONI PITKANEN, ROD BRIND'AMOUR) 1:36

    Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2  End of OTMar 23 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1 0 2
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - JAY BOUWMEESTER 14 (CORY STILLMAN) 8:30
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 23 (ANTON BABCHUK, ERIC STAAL) 13:47
    2ND PRD: CAR - PATRICK EAVES 6 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, SERGEI SAMSONOV)
    19:47
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) COR

    Mar 23 10:00 PM
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    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 2  End of Reg.Mar 23 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) CORY STILLMAN 14 (DAVID BOOTH, NATHAN HORTON)
    15:55

    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 4:05Mar 23 9:53 PM
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    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 4:05Mar 23 9:53 PM
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    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 1  3rd - 4:30Mar 23 9:51 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 27 roots (Close Finish)

    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 1  3rd - 4:30Mar 23 9:49 PM
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    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 1  3rd - 9:35Mar 23 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1 2
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - JAY BOUWMEESTER 14 (CORY STILLMAN) 8:30
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 23 (ANTON BABCHUK, ERIC STAAL) 13:47
    2ND PRD: CAR - PATRICK EAVES 6 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, SERGEI SAMSONOV)
    19:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Mar 23 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 2
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: CAR - PATRICK EAVES 6 (ROD BRIND'AMOUR, SERGEI SAMSONOV)
    19:47

    Hurricanes 2, Panthers 1  2nd - 0:13Mar 23 9:07 PM
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    Hurricanes 1, Panthers 1  End of 1stMar 23 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - JAY BOUWMEESTER 14 (CORY STILLMAN) 8:30
    CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 23 (ANTON BABCHUK, ERIC STAAL) 13:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 13 13
    FLA 1

    Mar 23 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) TUOMO RUUTU 23 (ANTON BABCHUK, ERIC STAAL) 13:47

    Hurricanes 1, Panthers 1  1st - 6:13Mar 23 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - JAY BOUWMEESTER 14 (CORY STILLMAN) 8:30

    Hurricanes 0, Panthers 1  1st - 11:30Mar 23 7:51 PM