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Hurricanes

Canes fall to Florida in season opener, 5-1

Posted January 19, 2013

FINAL: Florida 5, Canes 1

The third period was a clean slate in the goals column, but a 4-goal 1st period was more than enough to lift the Florida Panthers to a win over the Carolina Hurricanes in the season opener, 5-1.

End of 2: Florida 5, Canes 1

Each team netted one goal in the second period, but after falling behind 4-0 after one, the Canes have a lot of ground to make up in the final 20 minutes.

10:45 2nd: Florida 5, Canes 1

The Canes got on the board with a goal from their 4th line. Joni Pitkanen put a slap-pass on the tape of Patrick Dwyer in front of the net and it got behind Jose Theodore for a goal. Panthers still lead 5-1.

15:24 2nd: Florida 5, Canes 0

Cam Ward took a seat on the bench in favor of Dan Ellis to start the second period and the Panthers needed less than five minutes to score again as Alex Kovalev lit the lamp from behind the net, making it a 5-0 game.

End of 1st: Florida 4, Carolina 0

At the end of one period, the Panthers have four goals, three of them on the power play, and the advantage is 4-0 on the Canes.

Shots on goal are dead even at 12 but the Panthers have seven takeaways to zero for the Canes. Florida is also 3-for-3 on the man advantage while Carolina is 0-for-2 in the man-up. 

2:33 1st: Florida 4, Canes 0

Before the Hurricanes could regroup from Brian Campbell's second goal, Scottie Upshall scored the Panthers' third power play goal of the 1st period and suddenly it's a 4-0 deficit for Carolina.

3:13 1st: Florida 3, Canes 0

Brian Campbell tallied his second top-shelf, power-play goal of the 1st period. This time stick side and the Panthers lead the Canes 3-0.

14:24 1st: Florida 2, Canes 0

The Panthers found themselves on a power play following a Joe Corvo penalty and Brian Campbell made the Canes pay with a top-shelf, glove-side slap-shot for a goal and a 2-0 lead.

16:23 1st: Florida 1, Canes 0

Jonathan Huberdeau scored on a one-timer in front of the net for the Florida Panthers just three and a half minutes into the season as he got behind Bobby Sanguinetti down low. 

Peter Mueller will get credit for the assist.

20:00 1st: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Florida Panthers

As game 1 of 48 gets set to drop the puck, newly acquired Kevin Westgarth, Jeremy Welsh and Jamie McBain are healthy scratches. Eric Staal and Jordan Staal are split up on the first two lines with Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner, respectively.  Bobby Sanguinetti will anchor the third defensive pairing. 

Zach Boychuck will pair with E. Staal and Semin. Zac Dalpe will pair with J. Staal and Skinner. The big line will include Drayson Bowman, Patrick Dwyer and Tim Brent.

The third line will consist of Jussi Jokinen, Jiri Tlusty and Chad LaRose.

Joe Corvo will pair with Tim Gleason on the No. 1 defensive duo. Justin Faulk will pair with Joni Pitkanen and Jay Harrison will tandem with Sanguinetti.

PREGAME

After months of frustrating negotiations that had many wondering whether a season would happen at all, the Carolina Hurricanes hit the ice Saturday in Florida to take on the Panthers in the 2013 regular-season opener. 

For the first time in team history, the Florida Panthers will begin a season as defending division champions. The Panthers will unveil their first Southeast Division title banner on Saturday night before hosting the new-look Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes made some big splashes in trading for center Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins and signing winger and former Capital Alexander Semin to boost a club that missed the playoffs for a third straight season and for the fifth time in six years since winning its first ever Stanley Cup. Carolina Hurricanes Logo Carolina Hurricanes schedule

Kirk Muller, who took over last season for the fired Paul Maurice after an 8-13-4 start, is likely to pair Semin, a former 40-goal scorer who slipped to 21 last season, on the top line with Jordan's older brother Eric Staal, while rising young star Jeff Skinner should team with the younger Staal to give Carolina a needed 1-2 punch on its second line.

Muller is hoping that Semin can kick start Eric Staal, whose 24 goals a season ago were his lowest since his 2003-04 rookie campaign.

"He's excited, excited to be involved here with our hockey club," Muller said of Semin. "He's going to get a great opportunity to play his game. I think our system, hopefully, suits him well, the skating style, getting him involved. We're a better team with him in the lineup."

Muller will also be hoping for a bit of a bounce-back campaign from netminder Cam Ward, whose 2.74 GAA last season was his highest in four campaigns.

To replace free agent losses Bryan Allen and Derek Joslin on the blue line, the Hurricanes signed the steady Joe Corvo and also added Marc-Andre Gragnani.

Most important for Muller, he wants to raise expectations for a Hurricanes club coming off a last-place finish.

"I think we have a strong enough group right now that every night we should battle to try and win," he said. "If we win because we play well, that's great. If we lose, it's going to be because the opponent outplayed us in other areas, but we have the capability of matching up with anybody right now, but we have to go and earn it. That's going to be the biggest thing."

One of the biggest surprises of the 2011-12 season, Florida edged out the Washington Capitals by two points to finish first in the division standings, snapping a 10-season playoff drought. That came after a huge offseason overhaul that added 10 players who were mainstays to the roster.

The Panthers did fail to win their first playoff series since 1996, falling in seven games to the New Jersey Devils despite holding a 3-2 series advantage. They lost Game 6 in overtime before a heart-breaking double-overtime defeat at home in Game 7.

Florida was much quieter this offseason and saw high-scoring defenseman Jason Garrison depart for the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent. The Panthers replaced him by signing 36-year-old Filip Kuba, a former draft pick of Florida in 1995 who enters his 14th NHL season. Kuba had six goals in his fourth season with the Ottawa Senators in 2011-12.

"I think Filip Kuba is a guy you may not notice a heck of a lot on the ice, but gives us a large presence and is a very stable player," noted Florida coach Kevin Dineen.

Kuba joins a blue line that includes point-producer Brian Campbell and veteran Ed Jovanovski, who was named the club's seventh captain on Friday morning.

The bulk of offensive production for the Panthers last season came from the top line of Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg, who all combined for 70 goals and 172 points. Florida hopes it added depth in the form of acquisitions Peter Mueller and Alex Kovalev as well as rookie Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick of the 2011 draft.

Though the Panthers were rumored to be interested in acquiring Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, they for now are sticking with the returning tandem of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen for his shortened 48-game season.

Theodore went 22-16-11 in 53 games last season with a 2.46 goals against average and .917 save percentage, while Clemmensen was 14-6-6 in 30 appearances with a 2.57 GAA and .913 save percentage.

The duo open the campaign with a chip on their shoulder thanks to the Luongo talks.

"I would. If someone keeps talking about somebody else who's a world-class player, I'd say you know what, bring it on," said Dineen. "You're talking about professional athletes. They understand what the situation is and I think they can't wait to get the season started and just get in the net and show what they can do."

21 Comments

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  • brianmnash2 Jan 21, 10:50 a.m.

    I hate to say it but this was one of those games where when it got to the 3rd period you were... View More

    — Posted by wcomdave

    I agree, Eric was nowhere to be found. Watching the game I thought Fox was entering into the comedy show television market. Chantel was so bad you had to laugh to stop from crying. I laughed all game long on the push for season tkt sales as we were getting blown out. Corvo looks like he has cement in his skates.... How is Chad still in the NHL?? He could not play anywhere else. I'd be happy watching the entire Checker team play this entire shortened season.....at least they are in shape.

  • brianmnash2 Jan 21, 10:31 a.m.

    1 game, one huge coaching mistake. Cam clearly was not in playing shape. The coaching staff stated the day after the game that it was clear that Cam was not ready after he gave up 5 goals in their inter squad scrimmage. If he was not ready why start him? Chantel has to go, she has to be related to someone in the organization.... I'll be listening to the play by play on radio while watching the game. Semin made several good passes setting up shots but that is not what we signed him for.

  • wcomdave Jan 21, 7:43 a.m.

    I hate to say it but this was one of those games where when it got to the 3rd period you were wondering if E. Staal was even playing. Never heard his named called much throughout the game. I only remember it the first period when he made that horrible tunover to Campbell when trying to clear the zone. Tripp and John, stop dredging up out past glories. The Stanley Cup was 7 years ago, we won, move on. The 2002 run? C'mon.

    Soft, soft defense. The Panthers had no problem coming into our zone and imposing their will. Jeff "Spinner", get another move. Dalpe and Boychuk were the Canes stars on Saturday. They looked 5 times faster than any non-Checker Cane out there. LaRose, stop the chirping and start playing or you will be on 4th line before the season is out. J. Staal looked like he sorely missed Malkin and Crosby out there. He was getting no help. The Canes continued their streak of allowing some new rookie their first NHL point. Seriously, think about it. How may times have they done that? Too many to count. Canes have changed my mood for opening night from excited to apprehensive in one game.

  • evenflow2005 Jan 21, 1:57 a.m.

    Maybe the new girl sportscaster and Cam Ward could trade places, because they both suck at the... View More

    — Posted by mjt36

    2 of the 4 were not Ward's fault ...... the goal he gave up on the 5-3 he had NO chance on. The... View More

    — Posted by PanthersFan45

    Thank you PanthersFan45....It's hard to stop a 90 mile an hour shot from 5'ft. away top shelf. You can't let a player skate in that close to wind up for a slap shot. He almost ripped Cam's head off on that one. I'm not saying Cam played a great game, but he is not the blame for all the goals in this one. One goal Corvo gave up fumbling the puck around. I can't understand for the life of me why the Canes wanted him back. Pitkanen is back to his old no hitting self. If our offense fails, as they did in this game, were done for.

  • 321oohaw Jan 20, 9:03 p.m.

    ha ha ha...Nice opening game...11-37

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 20, 3:26 p.m.

    It was only one game and a road game at that. I really hope the Canes can pull it together for Tuesday's home game. Cam can't stop the pucks all by himself. I hope he isn't going to left out to dry like he was so many times last season' he needs bodies in front of the net to help him out.

  • juniorsk831 Jan 20, 11:13 a.m.

    After last night, let's hope it's not a long short season.

  • justiceforall Jan 20, 10:28 a.m.

    It was obvious the new sideline reporter did not get the job on ability. Makes Tripp worth listening to. The only players that looked decent were the ones that played down in Charlotte. The rest look like they sat on their rear ends the whole lockout and did nothing to be in playing shape when the season started. Poor efforts all the way around. So far, a huge bust.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 20, 9:24 a.m.

    First game jitters, maybe? Anyway, I hope they win their home opener. I'd hate to see them lose two straight to start the season, especially their first home game.

  • fuzzter1 Jan 19, 11:09 p.m.

    Eh, they looked better in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Remember, they've only been playing together for a week. Consider this week a "pre-season." The ice down there sucks. The defense was non-existent in the 1st period - not on Cam.

    Could Chantel be any more annoying and obtrusive? That voice is like chewing on tinfoil. Ugh. Come on John and Trip, do your own interviews!

    Karmanos sounds a little less than lucid and certainly disengenuous. Nice try Petey. As the saying goes, sometimes it's better to let people think you're a dope than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Chantel must go - or I will wear out my mute button quickly.

    On another note, why did they fire KK for the anthem?

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