Hurricanes hold off Panthers, 3-1

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Shooting the puck hasn't been a problem for the Carolina Hurricanes.

But scoring goals? That has been a big problem much of the season.

The Canes found a way Tuesday against the Florida Panthers at PNC Arena, getting goals from Derek Ryan, Brock McGinn and Justin Williams in a 3-1 victory. That was enough for goalie Scott Darling, who had 30 saves.

Ryan, positioned in front of the crease, tipped the puck out of the air and past veteran goalie Roberto Luongo at 9:35 of the third for a 2-1 lead.

Brock McGinn went to the net to bang in a rebound at 12:17 of the second period for Carolina's first score. Canes rookie defenseman Roland McKeown assisted on both goals, earning his first two NHL points in his second game and being named the first star of the game.

Williams, who had a goal and assist, had an empty-netter after the Panthers pulled Luongo for a sixth attacker.

Vincent Trocheck had a power-play goal for the Panthers that tied the score at 1 in the second period. But Darling, coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Arizona, didn't see as much work as Luongo.

The Canes (5-5-3) were winless in the past four games and had not won at home since the Oct. 7 season opener against the Minnesota Wild. Winless in their past four games, the Canes stressed a more focused start and had one.

The Canes came out like a boxer determined to throw all the punches in the first round, testing Luongo with 20 shots in the first period.

Carolina had two power plays as an aggressive Skinner drew a couple of penalties on the Panthers' Connor Brickley, and had a number of good offensive looks. But Luongo, playing his 500th career game for the Panthers (4-8-2), was sharp from the start.

Barely a minute into the second period, Luongo had a show-stopper. Skinner had an open net and got off a good shot, only to have Luongo push side to side and make a dazzling glove save.

McGinn finally broke through, smacking in the rebounds of a Noah Hanifin shot from the left wing for a 1-0 lead. But a Skinner slashing penalty was quickly converted by the Panthers as Trocheck scored his seventh of the season on the power play.

The Canes had another two power plays in the second go for naught as the Panthers had the better offensive chance on Derek MacKenzie's shorthanded try that missed the net.

Carolina killed off a Sebastian Aho tripping penalty in the third as the Panthers became more assertive in the offensive zone.

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