The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday night by beating the host Panthers 4-3 in a shootout that went five rounds.
Blame the new ‘retro reverse’ threads if you want.
The Panthers have not won since they wore them for the first time two weeks ago.
Hey, at least they got a point in them this time.
That’s a start.
“Fortunate to get the point,” Joel Quenneville said. “Came back twice in the third to tie it up and then anything can happen in shootouts.
“At the end of the night, you look at the last game and tonight, we’ll take points in these games and that’s a positive thing.”
You could also blame the former Panthers who played a starring role in Carolina’s win.
Vincent Trocheck played his first game in Sunrise since the Panthers traded him to Carolina a year ago and scored the game’s first goal as well as in the second round of the shootout.
The team celebrated Trocheck’s time with the Panthers on the scoreboard with a special video tribute that featured clips from his playing days as well as messages from his friends and former teammates.
“It’s a good feeling obviously,’’ Trocheck told reporters afterward.
“Played here for a long time and a lot of good memories here. To be able to come back and play against them and to get the win is really special.
“It was awesome to see the tribute they gave me. It was very classy of them. Obviously a little emotional. I was just trying to keep it together really.”
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) February 28, 2021
And, one cannot forget about James Reimer, the one-time Florida goalie sent to Raleigh in a salary cap dump, who made 30 saves (not counting the three in the shootout) to get his second win in South Florida since the trade.
Or, one could simply blame Florida’s special teams.
Carolina scored on its first two power play chances; Florida finally scored on its fourth chance when Jonathan Huberdeau jammed a puck past a downed Reimer.
Regardless, the Panthers simply got beat Saturday night — shootout result notwithstanding.
Carolina never trailed Saturday night and probably deserved the two points it got. Florida got one and that was about right.
They do it all again Monday at 7.
Settle it then.
Saturday night, the Panthers had a good attack early but the Hurricanes’ speed really seemed to become a factor as the game wore on.
From the second period on, Carolina was disrupting passing lanes, keeping Florida from holding too much possession time.
Sergei Bobrovsky, making his second consecutive start, kept the Panthers in this one and allowed for another third period burst of life.
Down 2-0, the Panthers made it 2-1 on a power play chance in which Patric Hornqvist and a host of others tried poking a puck Reimer couldn’t find.
Although originally credited to Hornqvist, it was determined Huberdeau’s stick ended up doing the damage.
Not long later, Mason Marchment and Frank Vatrano got loose on a 2-on-1 rush with Vatrano finishing it off midway through the period.
Florida had plenty of momentum now.
Yet with 5:55 left, Warren Foegele posted up Anton Stralman in front of the net and knocked in a shot from Brett Pesce to give the Canes a lead again.
With Bobrovsky out and the Panthers sending an extra attacker on, MacKenzie Weegar kept possession of the puck, fired one toward the net and Hornqvist knocked it in to tie the score once more.
Bobrovsky ended the night with 28 saves including three big ones in an overtime in which it felt like Carolina controlled the puck the entire five minutes.
“As I’ve said before, I have big belief in this team’s offensive skill,’’ Bobrovsky said.
“I just believed that they were going to score and we’re going to get at least one point. It’s unfortunate, it’s tough to lose the way we did.
“It was a solid game, it’s a big point for us. We’ll have a rest and get ready on Monday.”
— We still talking about these retro threads?
Here’s the box score: Tampa Bay (6-1 L); @Detroit (2-1 L); Carolina (4-3 SOL).
First period highlights
The Panthers spent much of the period in the Carolina zone but it was the Hurricanes who ended up doing the damage.
Reimer was under attack for much of the period as Florida outshot the Hurricanes 12-7 and took 21 shot attempts to Carolina’s nine.
The only thing the Panthers did not do in this period was score.
And they had plenty of chances, from Patric Hornqvist, Carter Verhaeghe, Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad just name to a couple of them.
Carolina cashed in on its one power play of the first with Dougie Hamilton ripping a shot from 45 feet out and watching it skip through traffic and deflect off Trocheck’s stick at 17:38.
The Canes got four of their seven SOG on that power play chance one Carolina got when Kevin Connauton tripped Trocheck.
Yeah, I said it.
Trocheck was tripped.
Second period highlights
Carolina did a lot to disrupt what the Panthers were trying to do in the second and pretty much blew up an entire power play chance by winning face-offs and stealing the puck away.
The Panthers knew Carolina was fast, but it looked like that kicked in during the second. The Canes were flying.
And, Reimer continued to stop shots — making seven saves in the second while Bobrovsky had to make 13 of his own.
Two of Bobrovsky’s biggest stops came on shorthanded breakaways as the second power play unit seemed surprised by the swarming Hurricanes.
Florida’s second power play chance of the period started a minute after the first one mercifully ended.
The Panthers did a little more with this one, getting a couple good looks from Ekblad and Verhaeghe.
Third period highlights
It didn’t start great.
MacKenzie Weegar was slapped with a delay penalty just 16 seconds into the period and Jake Bean cashed in as Carolina was 2-for-2 with the advantage.
Carolina got another crack at it, but Bobrovsky made two saves and Florida killed it off.
At 7:09 of the period, Florida got its fourth power play chance.
On a scrum down low, Hornqvist and Huberdeau both stabbed at the puck Reimer didn’t completely cover up with huberdeau jamming it through.
Not much later, Vatrano and Marchment got loose and tied up the score with 9:47 remaining.
George’s Three Stars of the Game
1. Patric Hornqvist, Florida
2. Vincent Trocheck, Carolina
3. James Reimer, Carolina
Up Next: Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers
When: Monday, 7 p.m.
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise
Tickets: AVAILABLE HERE