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Florida Panthers Can't Do it Again: Carolina 3, Panthers 2 ... Hordichuk, Frolik Match Staal (2), Not Enough


RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Panthers and Hurricanes played twice this weekend. One game couldn't have been more different than the other.

On Friday, the Panthers scored seven goals off 50 shots in a wild shootout win in Sunrise. On Saturday night, it was the Hurricanes turn to do some offensive damage as captain Eric Staal scored twice and Carolina continued its dominance over the Panthers at RBC Center with a 3-2 victory.

Since the Hurricanes moved into this arena in 1999, they have won a staggering 25 of 32 against the Panthers.

“They always play good in this building,'' David Booth lamented. “They're a fast team and showed that [Saturday]. On the other hand, we weren't good enough. If we would have played the game we played [Friday], I think we would have been alright.''

The Panthers made franchise history by taking 105 shots in their previous two games. Not only did Florida take at least 50 shots in successive games for the first time, but their combined total was the most in the NHL since the New York Rangers had 107 in their Stanley Cup season of 1994.

Those who hoped for more offensive fireworks from the Panthers on Saturday were left disappointed. The Panthers were most definitely off as they spent most of the game playing defense on their end. Florida had just four shots in the opening period and five in the second as Cam Ward didn't have to do much in his second straight night in net.

The Panthers first goal came when enforcer Darcy Hordichuk pulled in a loose puck off a shot off the board from Mike Weaver and buried it. That came a minute after rookie Jeff Skinner, Carolina's first round pick last June, scored 2:21 into the third period to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead. Florida trailed 3-1 late, and with an empty net behind him, Michael Frolik scored with 42.2 seconds left to give the Panthers life. Alas, it wasn't to be as Florida ended with just 20 shots.

Coach Pete DeBoer decided to give Scott Clemmensen just his second start of the season on Saturday after Clemmensen came on in relief of starter Tomas Vokoun early in Friday's game. Clemmensen gave up two goals on Friday and kept the Panthers in the game throughout. After a scoreless first period, Carolina made it 1-0 on Staal's first goal – that coming when Carolina held a two-man advantage as Hordichuk and Mike Santorelli shared a bench in the penalty box.

“Give Carolina credit: They turned the tables on us,'' DeBoer said. “They obviously weren't happy with their game coming out of our building and they fixed some things. That said, it was a winnable game. We didn't win enough battles through the first two periods but because of our goaltender and our penalty kill, we were only down 1-0 on the road. That's not a bad position. .-.-. It was the deserved result, though. They were the more desperate team and fixed what was wrong with their game in Florida.''

The Panthers killed off a 5-on-3 situation Friday but couldn't do it two nights straight as Staal scored with 16 seconds left in the first penalty. The Florida penalty kill was 7-for-7 on Friday and 5-for-6 on Saturday.

“We were in it for the most part, we were right there,'' said Clemmensen, who made 26 saves. “This is nothing to hang our head about, although it's always disappointing not to get the win.''


Winger Cory Stillman injured a shoulder on his second shift of Friday night's game and didn't make the trip to North Carolina. DeBoer said Stillman was looked at in South Florida on Saturday and that the shoulder wouldn't need surgery. Stillman is still expected to miss up to a month.

The Panthers didn't call anyone up from their AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., however, opting to play Darcy Hordichuk. The Panthers are expected to make a move this week, however.

“There's no dislocation, just a rotator cuff,'' DeBoer said. “When he fell, he braced himself.''


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Panthers need to make sure they tank. It will make them a better team.

Stephen Weiss played 20 minutes in tonight's game. Recorded 0 shots on goal.

Way to show up tonight! They traded the wrong former top 5 draft pick. Man Horton's lighting it up this year!

olesz and booth were the only ones to show up...PD's job to make sure team ready and they were not.

Horton wouldn't work here, the reason he is lighting it up in Boston is simply that he is playing with NHL caliber players

Geez...Its only November, its not time to tank yet! Oslez and Matthias have outplayed both Weiss and Frolik so far this season. Deboer really needs to split those two up (Frolik and Weiss). I would really like to see Repik called up, I don't think Hordichuk is what the Panthers need to replace Stillman for a few weeks.

I'm not sure what's going on with the refs call but they seem to be very blatant against the Panthers. Goalie interference noncall last night. Tons of missed calls by the refs, tripping, interference high stick to Kulikov's face. Truly, the Panthers are now playing against the referees and the opponent! I have never seen so many blown calls by the refs!Are they upset over Tallon coach challenge or something?

panthers are a joke. and you are soo dead on with horton finally playing with NHL caliber players for once. This Panther team always looks like a farm team year after year. Bums up and down this roster. A result of despicable drafting, scouting, and training. Losers for another decade if that keeps up.

Too bad there is absolutely no pressure for this franchise to win down in South Florida. They are all fixated on the Heat and the coward bum James that they have no time for the NHL team that no one knows about down there. Why should they? This team only makes horrible trades, pathetic draft picks and never makes the right decision. This "project" in FLA has failed. Maybe they should be more like TB and learn how to build your team the right way. All it too was one bad season, Draft Stamkos, bring in NHL tier 1 and 2 talent like Gagne and now in the discussion of being a top team in the Eastern conference.

fje 2000... lebron is a bum? really? wow lot of hate in you....

Horton didn't want to play for the Panthers. He didn't put forth enough effort every night.

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