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Carolina Hurricanes pull past Florida Panthers with strong third period

Apr 6, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen (27) checks Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen (27) checks Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Staal’s unassisted goal with 11:08 remaining broke a tie and propelled the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory against the visiting Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck scored two power-play goals against his former team. Empty-net goals from Staal with 1:40 to play and Jesper Fast with 55.8 seconds left sealed the result.

The outcome ended Florida’s six-game winning streak, which had been the longest active string in the NHL. It also was the Panthers’ first regulation loss when leading after two periods as they fell to 18-1-1 in those situations.

Aleksander Barkov scored both Florida goals. Carter Verhaeghe provided two assists.

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Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek made 34 in his second game back from an injury that had him out of the lineup since Jan. 30.

Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots.

The Panthers were playing the first game of a season-long six-game road trip.

Staal’s go-ahead goal came when the puck appeared to be stopped by Bobrovsky, but instead it wiggled past the goal line.

Bobrovsky had a personal three-game winning streaks halted.

Carolina had been 0-4-0 when trailing after two periods this season.

Barkov’s second goal came just 27 seconds after the Hurricanes tied the game late in the second period. The play was set up by Verhaeghe’s pass. Mason Marchment, who signed a one-year contract extension Monday, also assisted on the goal.

For his first goal, Barkov chipped in the puck off a rebound and the puck got past Mrazek, who had a shutout Sunday night against Dallas in his first game back from an injury that was sustained Jan. 30.

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Barkov has eight goals in his last nine games, including three goals in three games since returning from an injury.

Trocheck, who came to Carolina in a trade from Florida in February 2020, has five goals in five games against his former team this season.

The teams, who are contending for the top spot in the Central Division, meet again Thursday night in Raleigh.

–Field Level Media