December 22, 2019 / 3:05 AM / a month ago

Driedger makes 42 saves, Panthers dispatch 'Canes

EditorsNote: Changed Carolina nickname to Hurricanes in 1st graf

Dec 21, 2019; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger (60) stops the first period shot against Carolina Hurricanes left wing Erik Haula (56) at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Driedger, making just his third NHL start, stopped 42 shots to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C.

It was Florida’s first win in Carolina since Dec. 18, 2015. Panthers winger Noel Acciari, coming off two straight hat tricks, scored one goal on Saturday and has 12 for the season.

Evgenii Dadonov, Brian Boyle and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers, who won their third straight game. Huberdeau, who also had an assist, tied Pavel Bure’s franchise record with 10 points in three games.

Driedger, who had sat for seven straight games behind veteran Sergei Bobrovsky, improved his record as a starter to 2-1-0.

Carolina, which had its three-game win streak snapped, got goals from Nino Niederreiter and Lucas Wallmark. Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek made 18 saves.

Florida opened the scoring with 7:07 gone in the first period. Boyle’s lead pass created a breakaway for Dadonov, who shot the puck in over Mrazek’s stick.

A penalty on Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov for high-sticking Huberdeau gave the Panthers an opportunity, and they cashed in for a 2-0 lead. Aaron Ekblad, from just a few feet inside the blue line, fired a shot on goal that was deflected in by Boyle with 11:34 gone in the second.

Huberdeau scored just 26 seconds into the third period on a power play that carried over from the second. Several Hurricanes went to dig the puck out of a scrum behind Carolina’s net, leaving Huberdeau alone in the low slot. Aleksander Barkov won that battle, earning the primary assist.

The Hurricanes got on the board with 10:44 left in the third, as Teuvo Teravainen hit a virtually open net on a rebound of Dougie Hamilton’s shot, with the puck hitting Niederreiter’s stick on the way in.

Acciari’s breakaway goal off of Huberdeau’s lead pass just 85 seconds later gave Florida a 4-1 lead.

Wallmark’s power-play goal with 7:01 left cut Carolina’s deficit to 4-2, but its comeback fell short.

—Field Level Media

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