Florida Panthers Explode To Defeat Carolina Hurricanes


Oct 13, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida Panthers defensemen Erik Gudbranson (44) and teammates Florida Panthers forward Conner Brickley (86) celebrate after the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Florida Panthers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

One day after a disappointing 1-0 loss in Philadelphia, the Florida Panthers got right back on the horse and beat the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.  Three third period goals — scored within a 5:55 span — provided the Panthers with a rousing win.  Now after three games, the Panthers own a respectable 2-1-0 record and a stellar 11-3 goal differential.

The next game will be Thursday night at home against the Buffalo Sabres, and the Panthers will look to stay on the winning track.


A real team win.  Eleven different Panthers registered a point.  At least one person on each forward line scored a goal.  No player was a minus.  The backup goalie delivered a great start despite some people doubting his abilities before the season started.  Quite simply, everybody on the team played some sort of positive role in the win, and that’s a fantastic thing to see.  Relying on your top line or your goaltender works occasionally, but getting a full effort from the whole roster is a much more effective way to win.

Al Montoya stepping up.  It’s a fact that 36-year-old Roberto Luongo can’t start every game for the Panthers.  It is crucial that Al Montoya provides solid performances on back-to-back nights like these or if Luongo is sidelined for whatever reason.  He’s off to a fine start to the season, stopping 22 of 23 shots in his début.  The only goal was a great shot through a difficult screen, so Montoya shouldn’t get too much flack.  Between him and Luongo, the Panthers have surrendered just three goals in 180 minutes.  That’s a great rate.

4th line jumpstart.  Quinton Howden made his first appearance for the Panthers this season, and the fourth line immediately looked dangerous.  Howden had a great, fluid relationship with linemates Derek MacKenzie and Connor Brickley in their first game playing together.  And what can you say about Brickley?  He scored the game-winning goal with a prescient run at the net, and should’ve had another on a semi-breakaway in the second period.  Skating four scoring lines will open up a plethora of mismatches that Gerard Gallant can exploit; hopefully the Panthers can get this kind of performance from the bottom line every night.


Lost control of the 2nd period.  The Panthers dominated the first and third periods tonight, but the second period got away from them.  They were only able to generate five shots, and allowed the only goal of the game in that period as well.  The Panthers’ passing wasn’t as tight as in the first or third periods, and the Hurricanes took advantage of a Panthers turnover for the Elias Lindholm snipe.  Also, three Panthers penalties in the period kept the Hurricanes in the driver’s seat.  Luckily, the Panthers were undeniably better in the first and third periods, and two out of three ain’t bad.

More power play issues.  Just like on Monday in Philly, the Panthers couldn’t net a power play goal.  They went 0 for 3, and are now 0 for their last 10 on the man advantage.  The Panthers still have good possession attributes, and they are getting shots on goal, but it’s troubling that a cold spell could last this long.  Last year, the Panthers sank partly because of bad special teams, and they need to reverse their negative trend quickly to keep up the good results.

Too much red.  This is a purely stylistic criticism.  The Panthers’ road jerseys are great on their own, but in Carolina the game gets disorienting with all the red on the ice at one time.  Carolina needs to wear some third jerseys if a red team comes to town, and I feel strongly about this.

Next: Florida Panthers: 3 Keys to Making the Postseason

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