Necas' shootout goal lifts Hurricanes past Panthers 4-3

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SUNRISE, Fla. — Martin Necas scored the winning goal in a shootout, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.

Vincent Trocheck, Jake Bean and Warren Foegele scored in regulation for Carolina.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Frank Vatrano, and Patric Hornqvist scored for Florida.

Hornqvist scored his ninth goal of the season with 1:54 remaining in the third period as Florida rallied for the second time in the contest and forced the OT.

Foegele had given Carolina a 3-2 lead with just under six minutes remaining.

James Reimer had 28 saves for the Hurricanes. Sergei Bobrovsky turned back 30 of 33 shots for the Panthers.

Florida also surged back from a 2-0 deficit within a two-minute span of the third before Foegele’s goal.

Carolina capitalized on its first of many power-play chances when Trocheck beat Bobrovsky with 2:21 left in the first period. It was Trocheck’s 10th goal.

Minutes earlier, Trocheck was honoured with a tribute on the video scoreboard during a timeout.

The Hurricanes extended their lead to 2-0, again on the man advantage when Bean scored his first goal just 1:30 into the third period. Brett Pesce and Necas assisted on the goal.

Florida had cut the deficit with 11:47 remaining as Hornqvist stuffed one past Reimer on the power play for his ninth goal. The Panthers then tied the game when Vatrano converted a perfect feed from Mason Marchment for his sixth goal.

Carolina’s Brock McGinn and Necas had consecutive breakaways on Panthers giveaways in the neutral zone. Bobrovsky made a sprawling save on McGinn, and Alex Wennberg surged in from behind and poke-checked the puck away from Necas.

Florida outshot the Hurricanes, 10-2, early on before Carolina’s late flurry, including Trocheck’s goal with Kevin Connauton in the box for tripping.

Carolina did not record its first shot until just past the midway point of that period. Florida had the game’s first five shots.

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Florida hosts Carolina on Monday night.

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Rick Menning, The Associated Press