The Florida Panthers made a point to talk about carrying the same intensity and mindset they showed Thursday against Montreal when they went to Carolina to face the Hurricanes on Friday night.
They did not.
Carolina, playing the best hockey in the NHL, schooled the Panthers from start-to-finish as the Hurricanes won their franchise-record 10th consecutive game and extended their point streak to 16 games in a 4-0 romp.
It was the first time the Panthers had been shutout during the regular season since a trip to Carolina on April 8, 2021.
Florida has now lost four of its past five and seven of 10 with the Rangers coming to town on New Year’s Day.
Carolina did all of its early damage while on the power play, scoring three goals on its first four tries to take a 3-0 lead with 8:05 left in the second.
Florida went scoreless on its six kicks at the man advantage and struggled to get anything going with just four shots on goal — on (you read that right) six power play chances.
This was not a pretty game, at all, as Carolina snapped a four-game losing streak at the hands of the Panthers.
The Panthers also continued a very troubling trend as they are now 0-9-1 when trailing after the first period — the only NHL team yet to win a game in which they were down after the opening 20.
The final Florida game of 2022 was simply a dud.
THE GOALS OF THE GAME
- Hurricanes 1, Panthers 0 (7:05, 1st): Stefan Noesen picked up the power play goal by cleaning up a rebound off the post. Sebastian Aho originally shot it through the skates of Spencer Knight but the puck bounded off the cage and Noesen tap-tap-tapped it in.
- Hurricanes 2, Panthers 0 (4:58, 2nd): Andrei Svechnikov blistered a shot from the top of the left circle for Carolina’s second power play goal after the Panthers were charged with having too-many skaters on the ice. Carolina was outshooting the Panthers 16-4 at the time.
- Hurricanes 3, Panthers 0 (11:55, 2nd): Teuvo Teravainen found a puck slid through the Florida defense from Seth Jarvis and banked it off of Knight’s skate and through for Carolina’s third power play goal of the night. SOG: Carolina 21-7.
- Hurricanes 4, Panthers 0 (3:50, 3rd): This was not a power play goal — although it was close as Carolina held the puck deep in the Florida zone as Anton Lundell came out of the box. Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a nice shot over Knight’s glove.
Spencer Knight had only played in one of Florida’s previous 10 games but he did not look rusty as he did in Boston on Dec. 19.
Good thing Knight was sharp because the Panthers were not.
Florida mustered just two shots on goal for the majority of the opening period before Sam Bennett got off No. 3 with four seconds left before the break.
All told, Carolina outshot the Panthers 12-3 in the first.
Knight did give up a few goals in this one, but he was out on an island for much of the game.
He does not get the blame for this mess.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Stefan Noesen, Carolina (goal, assist)
2. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Carolina (goal, assist)
3. Antti Raanta, Carolina (second consecutive shutout)
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
NEW YORK RANGERS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Sunday, 5 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live 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
- Last season: Rangers won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Rangers lead 57-32-8, 6 ties