Final

Series (Game 4 of 8)

Carolina leads 7-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 11th
Hurricanes3Final
Panthers6
Game 2: Saturday, December 23rd
Hurricanes3Final
OT
Panthers2
Game 3: Tuesday, December 26th
Panthers2Final
Hurricanes4
Game 4: Thursday, January 11th
Panthers4Final
Hurricanes6
Game 5: Tuesday, January 16th
Hurricanes3Final
OT
Panthers2
Game 6: Tuesday, March 13th
Panthers1Final
Hurricanes3
Game 7: Sunday, April 1st
Hurricanes4Final
SO
Panthers3
Game 8: Saturday, April 7th
Panthers4Final
OT
Hurricanes5

Panthers 4

(16-21-9, 41 pts)

Hurricanes 6

(24-18-4, 52 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 11, 2007

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
FLA 0 3 14
CAR 0 0 66

C. LaRose (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

E. Belanger (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

R. Brind'Amour (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

Six-goal third period rallies Hurricanes past Panthers

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Two periods had passed, and the befuddled Carolina Hurricanes were in deep trouble. They trailed the Florida Panthers by three goals, benched their star goalie and could only hope for a late miracle.

Elias Says
Carolina trailed Florida 3-0 at the end of the second period but the Hurricanes outscored the Panthers 6-1 in the third period to earn a win over their division rival. It was the 11th time in NHL history that a team scored six or more goals in one game, all in the third period. Story

"The whole team was in here [during the second intermission] and we knew what we had to do," center Chad LaRose said. "It wasn't any of the coaches. It was our leaders stepping in and letting us know what we had to get done. We had to dig a little bit deeper."

The result: A historic flurry of five goals in less than 10 minutes and a most improbable come-from-behind victory.

Cory Stillman scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third and the Hurricanes rallied from a three-goal deficit by matching a franchise record with six third-period goals in a 6-4 victory over Florida on Thursday night.

"For a lot of the second period, it seemed like we were worried about matchups [and] I don't think we were letting it fly like we were in the third period," left winger Erik Cole said.

Cole, LaRose, Scott Walker, Craig Adams and Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes, who scored their first five goals in an 8-minute, 22-second span of the third after falling behind 3-0 after two periods.

"Lousy two. Good one," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "We're capable of beating anybody in the league, and we're capable of a third period like that, and we don't compete very hard in the first two."

Whitney's goal, an empty-netter in the final seconds, closed a six-goal third period that tied the team record set Dec. 27, 1981, against Toronto when they were the Hartford Whalers.

Olli Jokinen scored two goals and Juraj Kolnik and Stephen Weiss added one goal apiece for the Panthers in what seemed like an easy victory but melted down into just another empty trip to Raleigh -- where they haven't won since Dec. 6, 2002.

"It's like something rotten in our stomachs," Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn said. "It's going to be rough video to watch. We played two great periods and were getting stellar goaltending. We were scoring on our opportunities and we weren't giving up a lot.

"Then, somewhere between the second and the third [periods], our game changed," he added. "We got away from our game plan. We stopped wanting the puck."

Cam Ward stopped 28 shots in two periods and was benched after allowing three goals in the second. John Grahame finished the game and stopped six shots.

"Cam Ward deserves every bit as much of that win as Johnny Grahame was, because Cam Ward was pretty darn good for two periods," Laviolette said. "We failed in front of him."

The Hurricanes won after trailing by three goals for the first time since Nov. 5. 1998, when the New York Islanders blew a 3-0 lead and lost to Carolina 6-3.

Alex Auld stopped 21 shots but gave up five goals for Florida.

Down 3-0 after two periods, LaRose started the comeback when he flipped the puck past Auld from the right circle. Cole made it a one-goal game 1 minute, 26 seconds later with a wrister and Walker tied it at 3-3 with a wraparound goal between Auld's legs.

Then came Stillman's game-winner on the power play. Andrew Hutchinson faked a shot and passed to Stillman as he maneuvered into the slot and beat Auld with a wrist shot with 10:25 to play.

"I thought he was shooting it at the goalie, too, and if it's not on my stick, obviously, it goes right in the corner," Stillman said. "I put my stick on it and found the back of the net."

The Panthers seemed to have taken control during a dominant second period in which they outshot the Hurricanes 19-8 and scored their first two goals in a span of 50 seconds.

"When we play like that in the third, there's definitely no excuses for the first two periods," LaRose said.

First, Kolnik made it 1-0 when he positioned himself near the goal mouth, muscled a rebound past Ward off the left post with 8:01 left. Then, Ville Peltonen came up the left side and passed to Jokinen, who skated inside the left circle and beat Ward high with a wrist shot at 7:11.

"We should be able to hold a three-goal lead," Jokinen said. "It's embarrassing."

Game notes


Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour had three assists, while center Eric Belanger and Hutchinson each had two. ... Whitney wore an "A" on his sweater after alternate captain Kevyn Adams was traded earlier in the week to Phoenix. ... Hurricanes defenseman Glen Wesley (lower-body injury) missed his third straight game. ... Florida fell to 1-8 when playing the second of back-to-back games and has an Eastern Conference-worst five road victories. ... The Hurricanes have scored one first-period goal in their last six games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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