SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Martin Necas scored 1:59 into overtime and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Monday night.
Brett Pesce and Vincent Trochek also scored for the Hurricanes, who won at Florida for the second time in three days. Alex Nedeljkovic had a career-high 44 saves.
Frank Vatrano and Eetu Loustarinen scored in the third period to give Florida the lead, and Chris Driedger finished with 24 saves. The Panthers have lost three of four.
Vatrano tied the score 1-1 at 4:40 of the third with his seventh goal of the season and third in three games.
Loustarinen put the Panthers ahead with 3:09 remaining with his third.
However, Trocheck got his 11th just 1:36 later against his former team.
Carolina’s speed and intensity in the offensive zone paid off in the early going. On the man advantage, Pesce fired a one-timer for a 1-0 lead with 6:25 left in the first. Pesce’s third goal, coming with Patric Hornqvist in the box for roughing, followed his two-assist effort against the Panthers on Saturday night.
Carolina escaped a 4-on-3 situation late in the second period as the Panthers dominated in the Hurricanes’ end for over a minute. During that Florida surge, Nedeljkovic made a clutch snap glove save off a blast by Aaron Ekblad.
Florida appeared to have tied the game on a power play in the first period, but a quick whistle nullified the goal. Video replay showed Nedeljkovic never had control of the puck, leading to boos at the referees throughout the rest of the game.
Jake Bean had an assist on Pesce’s goal, giving him seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last nine games for Carolina.
Florida captain Aleksander Barkov played in his 500th NHL game, becoming the 11th player in franchise history to reach that milestone in a Panthers’ uniform. Barkov, who had six goals and eight assists in 14 games during February, is the sixth player to reach the 500-game mark while spending his entire career with Florida.
The game drew 3,817 fans, including Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, to the BB&T Center. The Panthers are one of only 10 teams allowing a limited number of fans, with the Columbus Blue Jackets set to join that group Tuesday.
Carolina visits Nashville on Tuesday night.
Florida visits Nashville on Thursday night.
(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)