Final

Series (Game 3 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, October 9th
Panthers2Final
Hurricanes7
Game 2: Wednesday, November 4th
Hurricanes0Final
Panthers3
Game 3: Friday, December 18th
Hurricanes3Final
Panthers6
Game 4: Saturday, December 19th
Panthers2Final
Hurricanes3
Game 5: Tuesday, February 9th
Panthers1Final
Hurricanes4
Game 6: Saturday, March 6th
Hurricanes1Final
Panthers4

Hurricanes 3

(8-20-6, 22 pts)

Panthers 6

(15-14-7, 37 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 18, 2009

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
CAR 0 1 23
FLA 0 3 36

R. Dvorak (Panthers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

R. Olesz (Panthers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

J. Leopold (Panthers - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Panthers strike quickly in third period in rout of Canes

Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The only good news for the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night was that they would soon be back on home ice.

Rostislav Olesz and Radek Dvorak scored goals in a 37-second span early in the third period and the Florida Panthers earned a 6-3 win over the Hurricanes in the first game of a home-and-home series. The teams play in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday night.

Friday's game was a familiar scenario for the Hurricanes, who have only one win on the road this season.

Jordan Leopold, Bryan McCabe and Keith Ballard scored in the second period for Florida, which earned its fourth win in five games.

Dominic Moore added a short-handed goal in the third for the Panthers. Florida's Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves.

"Just want to keep rolling here," McCabe said. "We've got three games before the [Christmas] break and looking to get another big win tomorrow and keep this thing going."

Patrick Dwyer, Scott Walker and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes.

"I don't think that we go into the games mentally thinking about that," Walker said of Carolina's road record. "I think we just go in and try and play our game, play our system, we've been playing a lot better lately, but we obviously didn't get the job done tonight."

Cam Ward stopped 21 of 26 shots for the Hurricanes before he was replaced by Manny Legace in the third period. Legace faced two shots, allowing one goal.

Olesz scored at 4:10 of the third to make it 4-1. Dvorak's wrist shot at 4:47 chased Ward and put the Panthers up 5-1. Moore beat Legace with a backhand at 7:57 in the third for his sixth goal of the season, which stretched Florida's lead to 6-1.

Carolina added goals from Walker at 8:19 of the third and Staal at 10:21, but it wasn't enough.

"We had a hard time doing a lot of basic things, moving the puck," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "They were just better than we were tonight at the end of the day."

The Panthers went up 2-1 on McCabe's goal at 9:25 of the second period. Ballard then made it 3-1 when he scored on a slap shot from above the right circle at 11:05 of the second.

Dwyer opened the scoring at 5:27 of the second period. He beat Vokoun with a wrist shot from the high slot. Florida answered about a minute later, when Leopold scored on a slap shot from above the left circle to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:29 of the second.

"As banged up as we are, Carolina is even more banged up, so I think we're catching a wounded animal but to our credit we found a way to get the two points, which is the critical part," Florida coach Pete DeBoer said.

Game notes


Florida C Kamil Kreps (upper-body injury) was a scratch. Kreps collided with Florida's bench door during Wednesday night's game. ... Panthers D Bryan Allen also sat out Friday's game. DeBoer said Allen got the night off so he could rest his surgically repaired knee.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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