Game Recap

Cats Overcome Deficit, Beat Canes

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Florida Panthers

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Cats Overcome Deficit, Beat Canes
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Florida Panthers 5
Florida Panthers Stephen Weiss, left watches his shot go into the net past Carolina Hurricanes goalie John Grahame and Tim Gleason during the third period of a hockey game on Thursday Dec. 20, 2007 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Rick Silva)
By Dave Joseph for

It was in the excitement displayed by Brett McLean and it wore in the grins that creased the faces of Radek Dvorak and Olli Jokinen.

It was victory.


For the first time this season, the Panthers eclipsed the .500 mark when they rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes 5-4 at BankAtlantic Center.

Winning their third consecutive game, and fourth in their last five, the Panthers pulled within three points of the Hurricanes with a game in hand and climbed into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

It was McLean who scored the game-winner at 13:06 of the final period when he threw the puck toward the Hurricane net and it bounced off goalie John Grahame’s stick. After scoring two points in his first 17 games, McLean now has two goals and an assist in his last three games since returning from a broken hand.

“I don’t know what it hit,” McLean said, “but I’m happy it did.”

Indeed, it’s been the little things. The Panthers fourth goal, scored by Stephen Weiss, came after Nathan Horton shot the puck on net and watched it bounce off Grahame and onto the stick of Weiss.

“It just shows sometimes it’s not pretty,” said GM and coach Jacques Martin. “What counts is getting the two points.”

The Panthers are now 17-16-2. It took the club until Jan. 13 last year to win their 17th game. The Panthers are winning on the road, coming from behind, and not crumbling in the final minutes.

Game Highlights
Starting Lineups
 Panthers    Hurricanes
Post-Game Video
 Jacques Martin
 Olli Jokinen
  Brett McLean
 Tomas Vokoun
 Panthers vs Hurricanes
Quote of the Game
"We didn't play the first period that we wanted to but the way we took over the game in the last fourty minutes and the emotion that we played with is something we have to duplicate."
-forward Brett McLean
Stat of the Game
The Panthers won their first game of the season after trailing by two goals at one point of the game. Coincidently, the last victory came against the Hurricanes on March 11, 2006 where they had the same 3-1 deficit.
3 Stars
Presented by Szrio Jewelry
1. Brett McLean
2. Rostislav Olesz
3. Olli Jokinen
And it’s wearing well on the players.

“We’ve been through a lot,” said defenseman Bryan Allen. “I know last year we had a lot of situations where we lost games late. But it’s a building process. We’re still a pretty young team, but it’s a good feeling. Guys are realizing the little things it takes.”

Goalie Tomas Vokoun, who stopped 29 shots, said; “Now we’ve won some of those (close) games. We’ve won on the road. Guys are starting to realize what the potential is.”

The Panthers got off to a quick start Thursday at 5:01 in the first period Dvorak drove to the front of the net and watched a pass from Rostislav Olesz slide past John Grahame after bouncing off Dvorak’s skate.

But the Hurricanes stormed back scoring three consecutive goals to end the first period with a 3-1 lead. The Hurricanes scored the goals in a span of 9:31, leaving the Panthers to go into the locker room with a definitive idea of what they needed to do in the second period.

“We just needed more intensity,” Martin said.

And the Panthers got it. First, it was Olli Jokinen taking a nifty pass from Olesz and driving down the right wing before sliding a shot through Grahame’s pads to make it 3-2 at 5:14.

If Jokinen’s goal didn’t set the tone for the second period, Tanner Glass helped drive it home when he rocked Tim Gleason with a big check on the very next shift. Suddenly, the Panthers became a more physical team than the one in the first period. And the hard work was rewarded when Jozef Stumpel beat Grahame with a wrist shot to the stick side to tie the game at 18:38.

The goals kept coming in the third period. Weiss got the Panthers back on top at 4:10 of the third period when he banged home the rebound from Horton’s shot. And while the Hurricanes’ Ray Whitney scored just 29 seconds later to tie the game, McLean scored the game-winner before the Panthers held on for the win.

“It’s a big win,” Jokinen said.

“If we keep getting a couple wins under our belt like this, it will give us more confidence,” Horton said.

Hopefully, that confidence will continue Saturday when the Panthers play their last game before the holiday break when hosting the Maple Leafs.

“I think the guys battled hard,” Martin said. “We showed a lot of character coming back. I think we’ve got to keep improving. That’s the key for us. We still need to climb (in the standings), we’re still battling to get in the playoffs.”


Both Jozef Stumpel and Rostislav Olesz were plus-three…McLean not only scored the winner, but he won seven of eight faceoffs…Before Saturday’s Maple Leafs game, the Panthers will open their Holiday Village, complete with ten tons of snow and a snow mountain. The Village opens at 5 p.m. Game time is 7 p.m.
scoring summary
1st Period
Radek Dvorak (3) ASST: Rostislav Olesz (6), Jassen Cullimore (2)
1 - 0 FLA
Andrew Ladd (2) ASST: Scott Walker (6), Matt Cullen (27)
1 - 1 Tie
Erik Cole (8) ASST: Ray Whitney (17), Dennis Seidenberg (9)
2 - 1 CAR
Cory Stillman (18) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (20), Niclas Wallin (3)
3 - 1 CAR
2nd Period
Olli Jokinen (18) ASST: Rostislav Olesz (7), Tomas Vokoun (5)
3 - 2 CAR
Jozef Stumpel (6) ASST: Olli Jokinen (18), Ruslan Salei (11)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
Stephen Weiss (7) ASST: Nathan Horton (15), Jay Bouwmeester (7)
4 - 3 FLA
Ray Whitney (16) ASST: Erik Cole (17), Eric Staal (14)
4 - 4 Tie
Brett McLean (3) ASST: Richard Zednik (7)
5 - 4 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
Frantisek Kaberle  Hooking against  Radek Dvorak
Richard Zednik  Tripping against  Matt Cullen
Jozef Stumpel  Tripping against  Bret Hedican
Jeff Hamilton  Hooking against  Radek Dvorak
2nd Period
Jozef Stumpel  Hooking against  Eric Staal
Niclas Wallin  Roughing against  Olli Jokinen
Cory Stillman  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
3rd Period
goalie stats
John Grahame
John Grahame
SA: 41TOI: 58:51
Saves: 36EV: 25 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .878SH: 3 - 3
Tomas Vokoun
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 33TOI: 59:57
Saves: 29EV: 25 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .879SH: 0 - 0