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National Hockey League
Florida 4, Carolina 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 21, 2019
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Referees: Ghislain Hebert, Wes McCauley
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Brian Mach
Attendance: 18224

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

Top Game Performances
Florida   Carolina
Brian Boyle 2 Points Nino Niederreiter 2
Brian Boyle 1 Goals Nino Niederreiter 1
Brian Boyle 1 Assists Nino Niederreiter 1
Brian Boyle 1 Power Play Goals Lucas Wallmark 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Chris Driedger .955 Save Percentage Petr Mrazek .818
Chris Driedger 42 Saves Petr Mrazek 18
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 22 4 2-3 2-3 10 30
Carolina 44 2 1-3 1-3 10 31
Upcoming Games
  • Carolina will play their next game on the road against Toronto. The Hurricanes have a W/L % of .636 after a win and .571 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Tampa Bay. The Panthers have a W/L % of .444 after a win and .588 after a loss.