Shootout goal lifts Hurricanes past Panthers 4-3

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 28, 2021


Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Martin Necas scored the winning goal in a shootout, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.

Vincent Trocheck, Jake Bean and Warren Foegele scored in regulation for Carolina, which snapped a three-game skid.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Frank Vatrano, and Patric Hornqvist scored for Florida.
Hornqvist scored his ninth goal of the season with 1:54 remaining in the third period as Florida rallied for the second time in the contest and forced the OT.

Foegele had given Carolina a 3-2 lead with just under six minutes remaining.

“I like how we bounced back from the negative kind of things that (happen) in a game,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We have a lot of good options on the shootout. So that’s very, very positive. It’s coming through this year obviously.”

James Reimer had 28 saves for the Hurricanes. Sergei Bobrovsky turned back 30 of 33 shots for the Panthers.

Florida also surged back from a 2-0 deficit within a two-minute span of the third before Foegele’s goal.

Carolina capitalized on its first of many power-play chances when Trocheck beat Bobrovsky with 2:21 left in the first period. It was Trocheck’s 10th goal.

Minutes earlier, Trocheck was honored with a tribute on the video scoreboard during a timeout.

“It was awesome to see the tribute they gave me,” said Trocheck, who spent seven seasons with the Panthers. “It was very classy of them. Obviously a little emotional … I played here for a long time and a lot of good memories here.”

The Hurricanes extended their lead to 2-0, again on the man advantage when Bean scored his first goal just 1:30 into the third period. Brett Pesce and Necas assisted on the goal.

Florida had cut the deficit with 11:47 remaining as Hornqvist stuffed one past Reimer on the power play for his ninth goal. The Panthers then tied the game when Vatrano converted a perfect feed from Mason Marchment for his sixth goal.

Carolina’s Brock McGinn and Necas had consecutive breakaways on Panthers giveaways in the neutral zone. Bobrovsky made a sprawling save on McGinn, and Alex Wennberg surged in from behind and poke-checked the puck away from Necas.

Florida outshot the Hurricanes, 10-2, early on before Carolina’s late flurry, including Trocheck’s goal with Kevin Connauton in the box for tripping.

Florida coach Joel Quenneville liked the way his team battled from behind with another third-period comeback.

“We chipped away and all of a sudden we get a lot of momentum back,” Quenneville said. “The nice thing that’s positive about coming back is that we’re scoring some hard goals and that’s where the rewards are.”


The 4-3 result was the second in as many games between the two Central Division rivals. Florida edged the Hurricanes, 4-3, in overtime at the PNC Center earlier this season.


Trocheck and his teammates were relieved that the Hurricanes were able to end their losing streak.

“We needed to get the win here. Obviously good teams don’t lose back-to-backs and we lost three in a row, so coming in tonight against a good team we needed to get that win.”
Carolina did not record its first shot until just past the midway point of that period. Florida had the game’s first five shots.


Along with Trocheck, James Reimer was back in Sunrise as a former Panther. It was Reimer’s second visit, with the last coming on Oct. 8, 2019.

Trocheck, who skated in 420 games for the Panthers and registered 282 points between 2014-20, also scored against his former teammates in Carolina’s overtime loss to Florida.


The contest was witnessed by 4,281 fans at the BB&T Center.


Florida hosts Carolina on Monday night.


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