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Winning Streak Ends: Carolina Hurricanes 1, Florida Panthers 0

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The Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes played another classic Thursday night in Raleigh.

In Florida’s first trip back to PNC Arena since winning Game 2 of what would become a sweep of the Hurricanes in the 2023 Eastern Conference finals, Sebastian Aho broke a scoreless game with 18.9 seconds left to snap Florida’s six-game winning streak as well as its chase for history.

The Panthers were trying to tie the NHL record for consecutive road wins at 12.

The record is held by Detroit and Minnesota.

The Panthers played a large portion of the game without two of their top players: Both Matthew Tkachuk and Gus Forsling did not return after sustaining undisclosed injuries in the first period.

The game was scoreless for the first 19:41, with Aho finally breaking the stalemate.

Both teams had plenty of chances to take that elusive 1-0 lead — only goalies Sergei Bobrovsky (29 saves) and Pyotr Kochetkov (44 for the shutout) were absolutely fantastic.

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The two netminders stopped one shot after another with both teams getting a couple Grade-A looks.

But not many.

This was not only a goaltending clinic, but a defensive one as well.

Florida’s best shot to take the initial lead came early in the third when it appeared Evan Rodrigues scored off a nice feed from Eetu Luostarinen, only the puck never did cross and it remained tied at 0.

The Panthers got a four-minute power play at 15:59 when Carolina captain Jordan Staal’s stick bloodied Nick Cousins’ mouth.

Florida got some looks, but did not score.

Carolina got its first crack at the power play midway through the third when Dmitry Kulikov hooked Staal. Carolina had a couple of chances, but Bobrovsky turned them away and the scoreless game rolled on.

Luostarinen appeared to make it 1-0 with 3:18 left, but was offside when he scored off a terrific pass from Niko Mikkola as he rolled into the offensive zone.

Aho’s goal came moments after Aaron Ekblad hit a post in the final minute.

GOAL OF THE GAME

  • Hurricanes 1, Panthers 0 (19:41, 3rd): Sebastian Aho scores on a wrist shot after collecting a loose shot off a block on Carolina’s 29th shot of the game.

GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Pyotr Kochetkov (44 save shutout), Carolina

2. Sebatian Aho (GWG),  Carolina

3. Sergei Bobrovsky (28 saves), Florida

ON DECK

WASHINGTON CAPITALS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • This Season (Florida Leads 2-0) — At Washington: Panthers 4, Capitals 3 OT (Nov. 8). At Florida: Panthers 4, Capitals 2 (Feb. 8); Saturday. 
  • Last Season: Panthers won 3-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Washington leads 67-47-13, 9 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.

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