The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their 2012-2013 season opener 5-1 to Southeast Division rival the Florida Panthers in Florida Saturday night despite outshooting the Panthers 42-25. Carolina Hurricanes starting goaltender Cam Ward was pulled in favor of backup an Ellis after giving up four goals in the first period, and forward Patrick Dwyer scored the only goal for the Hurricanes in the second period.
The Florida Panthers got the scoring started 3:37 into the first period when Jonathan Huberdeau scored his first career National Hockey League goal on his first shift assisted by Peter Mueller and Alexei Kovalev. The Panthers continued their first period offensive onslaught by scoring three more goals, all on the powerplay, to take a commanding 4-0 first period lead. Panthers' defenseman Brian Campbell scored two consecutive powerplay goals at the 6:42 and 16:47 marks respectively to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead, and Scottie Upshaw tallied the final powerplay goal a mere 40 seconds later to put the Panthers up 4-0.
Although both teams took 12 shots in the first period, the Panthers took a sizable 4-0 lead into the second period, and it seemed like the Hurricanes couldn't quite figure out Panthers' starting goaltender Jose Theodore. The Panthers continued their scoring 3:35 into the period with an even-strength goal from Alexei Kovalev who beat Dan Ellis with a wrap-around shot from behind the net. This would be the last goal scored by the Panthers who would mostly rely on defense in order to secure their home-opening win.
The Carolina Hurricanes got their only goal of the game 9:15 into the second period on an even-strength goal from forward Patrick Dwyer. Dwyer tipped a shot from the point past Jose Theodore for his first of the season, assisted by Joni Pitkanen and Justin Faulk. The team fired 17 shots on goal in the second period but were only able to score once.
The Carolina Hurricanes were on the offensive in the third period shooting 13 shots on goal compared to just four by the Panthers, but were unable to light the lamp. Jose Theodore made 41 saves for the Florida Panthers and Brian Campbell scored two goals as the Panthers ended up winning the game 5-1 to move to 1-0 on the season. The Carolina Hurricanes take to the ice again Monday in Raleigh at the PNC Arena against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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