RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Former teammates Vincent Trocheck and Alexander Barkov matched each other tit-for-tat for most of Tuesday’s game, then Jordan Staal scored twice in the third period to propel the Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over Florida.
Barkov struck first a little past the midway point of the first. He pounced on a rebound on the slot and backhanded it past Petr Mrazek to put the Panthers ahead 1-0.
The Hurricanes wouldn’t draw even until the final two minutes of the second period. Trocheck was out in front to tuck home a goal on the power play. The tie didn’t last long, though, as Barkov hammered a one-timer from the right faceoff circle less than 30 seconds later.
Trocheck’s net-front presence on the man advantage paid off again in the first minute of the third period. He got a stick on a Dougie Hamilton wrist shot from the point to redirect it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Staal gave the ‘Canes their first lead almost 9 minutes into the third. He picked up the puck in Carolina’s zone, took it up the ice himself and put a shot on Bobrovsky that managed to sneak through. That goal stood up as the winning tally, but he and Jesper Fast each deposited a puck into an empty net to secure the victory.
The ‘Canes and Panthers will meet again Thursday at PNC Arena. Even with the loss, Florida maintains a narrow lead atop the Central Division. The ‘Canes are a point back in second place with two fewer games played.