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LIVE! BCS Night at the Billboard: Carolina Hurricanes 2 @ Florida Panthers 4 (FINAL) ... Now with even more Goldie!

SoonersGetting geared up for the Big Game in South Florida tonight, the Florida Panthers playing host to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Not much to give you from the previous post, just wanted to let everyone I'm here and ready to rock.

Do have this for you: Old pal James Bates is part of the CSS pregame show from Joe Robbie Stadium. Doing his usual good job.

Also, Jay Bouwmeester isn't the only guy with Panther ties to be named to an All-Star team today. Former Panther Magnus 'Magnum' Johansson was named to the Team Jagr entry in the upcoming KHL All-Star Game coming to you from outdoors in Red Square.

You may not remember Magnum, he wasn't here very long. He played in 28 games with the Cats last season, getting 10 assists. Good guy.

Oh, and Roberto Luongo was named to the Western Conference All-Star Game. Seeing Dave Nonis in Toronto the other night reminded me of the fun we had that night when the trade was announced at 10 p.m. Miami Time. Luongo, you might remember him. He played in a few more games with the Panthers than Magnum did.

Anyway, off to dinner. See you in a bit...

Slapshot -- If you have nothing better to do, come on down to the arena. The Chiefs are at home against Hyannisport at War Memorial at eight. Fun for the whole family. Great seats still available.

Full sections even!

-- The Goldie Report, just one more exclusive to Miami Herald Hockey Central, makes its triumphant return tonight. First intermission and it's on like Donkey Kong!

What the heck, he's sitting right here.

Goldie2 I thought they have to win all three of these games this week with the big break coming up, and after Toronto, they're a third of the way there. If you break down the season into four, 20-game segments (I know there are an additional two games smart guy), the segment the Panthers just finished would have them on a 100 point pace. The first 20 games, they only got 17 points, so they are playing catch up (catsup?).

With seven of their eight at home with the only road trip to Tampa -- and two of the games against teams above them -- these are must wins. To me, tonight is a real simple game. Whatever goalie plays better, that team wins. It's all about goaltending tonight. These are the games for which you pay Tomas Vokoun $5-plus million.

-- Don't forget to tune into FSN tonight: It's Best Damn Yo-Yo! I kid you not.

GAME ON -- GAME ON

-- Was having some wireless issues, but back up now. Good crowd on hand. Panthers playing like it. They looked pretty lethargic early, but have picked up the pace and really put some heat on Cam Ward. Still scoreless, Canes leading in shots 3-1.

Ovech -- So far, every single timeout during the game has brought a commercial. Thought they were going away from this garish in-game 'entertainment?' Nothing gets people fired up like yet another Hyundai commercial (we're midway through the first and I've counted two already.)

-- Frolik just had another terrific scoring chance...he's had three so far...great game by the rook...

-- Almost time for football!

DAVID BOOTH DOWN LOW, CLEANS UP A REBOUND FROM CULLIMORE/ZEDNIK...IT'S 1-0 FLORIDA (NOT THE GATORS)...GOAL @ 14:15 OF FIRST....

-- OK, we're almost through one period and the late arriving crowd has yet to materialize. This place is empty. I've seen it worse, but not by much. This game should have been moved up a few hours. They could have drawn a crowd this big at 6 just as well as 7:30.

And it is freezing in here. That's what happens where there is no body heat.

Those of you who voted 'under 8,000' on yesterday's On Frozen Poll, congrats. You're the winner.

CAROLINA SCORES...ANTON BABCHUK GOES THROUGH BALLARD AND FIVE HOLE PAST TVO...IT'S 1-1...

-- Booth almost gets another one, but alas, almost don't count. We're at the end of one, it's tied @ 1...Stats and Round 2 of the Goldie Report after this message from the many sponsors. Did you know Celine Dion is coming to town? Well, she is.

Jrsbcstitle -- Latest report from JRS: Parking today $40. Caaash graaaaab....

-- Special thanks to Miami Wildcat Mike for the sweet picture from the stadium.

And now, here's Goldie:

It was a very impressive first period for the Panthers offensively, no one took a shift off. They did a good job creating chances and getting to the front of the net. There was a lot of traffic, and that's where Booth got his goal.

But, too leaky with coverage in the defensive zone and that created Carolina's goal. A goal like that should not happen. The line of Booth-Horton-Zednik are there for offense, but must get back defensively. Panthers must do a better job in the faceoff circle (won 6 of 19).. You can't live in the NHL without the puck.

Other than that, a typical Panthers-Carolina game that looks like it will come down to -- as I stated in the pregame -- whatever goalie is better. If Ward wasn't super in the first period, Florida has two or three goals. He made some great saves.

Let's go Sooners, and the Panthers need a lead going into the third.

SECOND PERIOD

-- Not much going on here, but at 18:57, we have our first penalty of the night...Florida on the power play...

-- Both teams have been getting some excellent scoring opportunities in this second, but no goals..Bo just had a chance in front in the closing seconds...but again, close....

-- Panthers get 13 shots in the second, lead 24-21 in that category.

WE'RE THROUGH TWO, IT'S 1-1...

Here's Goldie:

I thought Cam Ward was the story in the second. The Panthers had four or five real good chances and Ward made the saves. They have to do a better job of jamming the net, as evidenced by the goal they got from Booth.

Not sure if the officials want to go watch the Gators game or not. This one is flying by and only one penalty called. The way the Panthers have played lately, I like their chances in the third. This is a great test to see if this team has truly turned the corner. A win tonight would go a long way toward determining that. If they do, my money's on Booth. He's having a great game.

-- FYI: Panthers are 3-1-1 when tied after two; Hurricanes are 3-5-1.

THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD

-- Panthers still on the power play, 56 seconds left...

ALL-STAR JAY BOUWMEESTER CRASHES NET, GETS A SWEET FEED FROM CORY STILLMAN AND BANGS IT HOME 31 SECONDS INTO THE THIRD...FLA 2, CAR 1...

MAKE IT 3-1...BOOTH FLIES UP LEFT SIDE OF ICE, SENDS PASS TO HORTON'S TAPE AND IN...COMES AT 3:26 OF THE THIRD...

-- Looks like a lot of the smallish crowd has decided to move on to something else...it's about 1/3 less full (see how optimistic a guy I am?) than it was before. What else could be on? Boston Legal?

-- Denny Crain.

-- This UF-OU game does look pretty good. My Wal-Mart universal remote is the best $7 I've spent in some time...

-- Panthers are back on the power play...two penalties tonight, both on the Canes...

SERGEI SAMSONOV GETS HIS NINTH OF THE SEASON AT 15:15...IT'S 3-2 NOW...

VILLE PELTONEN DIGS OUT PUCK, FEEDS TO GREGORY CAMPBELL INTO THE EMPTY NET...IT'S 4-2...PANTHERS HAVE WON TWO STRAIGHT...

Enjoy the BCS kids...

See you Sunday with special guest Annie...


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Very well said Goldie. I have my jersey on, my cowbell and I will be cheering on my cats. We need to play like this is our house. No freebies, no one has a second wack at Tvo without paying the price, people in front of ward, finish yur check and please please keep it simple. . . short shifts and no crazy ( try to be a glove trotter ) play in the neutral zone. The canes can make us pay. GO CATS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi George,

Don't mean to pry, but really interested in your thoughts on the matter of tonight's game not being televised, re: my comments/questions on the last thread.

Keep up the funny!

Didn't catch the response. Thanks, GR!

No-win no matter what. And the Atlanta afternoon start is a joke. But who's complaining?

Yikes, just tuning in to the Center Ice televising of the Carolina feed... sparse crowd to say the least.

Dam GR this so embarssing as a panther fan to see how few ppl are at this game makes me think who the idiot was in the nhl offices to schedule this game and just and fyi to u fox has already screwed up the bcs game majorly their is no audio on tv so don't feel too bad and by the way i am the biggest panther supporter in the city of toronto and I HATE THE LEAFS SO GO PANTHERS GO

We get a free pass on the crowd tonight. Not to worry. I've got an apartment with 15 guys sitting down for some football game, while I watch - yet another - pirate video feed on the internet starring our Cats.

It's a one-time freak-affair on the schedule. If anyone uses this game as evidence against our market being non-hockey, we've got an asterisk on this one. I mean, really...the football thing is kind of a big deal...to someone.

how are you watching the game?

Half time is a good thing. Glad the Cats won, especially against those darn Hurricanes! Maybe we'll get the 8th spot oklahoma sooner rather than later!

Go Gators!

GR, thanks for reporting this tonight, at least you were treated to a pretty good win. This blog is the best, keep up the awesome work.

"My Wal-Mart universal remote is the best $7 I've spent in some time..."

You gotta upgrade to a Logitech Harmony, man...

This game was terrific! The fact that there was a small crowd kinda reminded me of being on the golf course and hitting a hole-in-one with no witnesses; did it count?

These guys are playing with confidence. Winning breeds confidence! What's next? Pride...

Frolik made it to the young stars game way to go frolik!!

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