RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Vincent Trocheck continued to dominate his former employer as he helped Carolina best Florida, 3-0, to move into first place in the Central Division.
Trocheck teed up Sebastian Aho on the power play for the game’s first goal. Jordan Staal won the draw and the puck was fed down to Trocheck along the goal line. He dished it across to Aho, who was wide open for the one-timer in the right faceoff dot.
The goal was Aho’s 300th career NHL point.
Trocheck then scored 6:35 into the second period, but that marker was less pretty and more lucky. He was skating along the right wing and sent the puck on goal, only for it to deflect up into the air and eventually behind Chris Driedger and into the net.
They all count the same, though. With that goal, Trocheck has scored in each of Carolina’s six games against the Panthers. He has three assists in those meetings, too.
Martin Necas put the game away with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout.
With the win, the ‘Canes move into first place in the Central Division. The loss and Tampa Bay’s win over Columbus demotes the Panthers to third. The top three teams in the division are separated by two points as the regular season hits its final stretch.