SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — For the second time in 10 days, the Carolina Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Florida Panthers.
Sebastian Aho scored at 1:46 of overtime to lift the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Panthers on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Aho took a pass from Nino Niederreiter and tipped in the puck from the edge of the crease for his team-leading 27th goal. It was also the third straight game in which the 21-year-old All-Star has scored the winning goal, the first time in Hurricanes/Whalers franchise history that has happened.
Brett Pesce tied the score for Carolina near the midpoint of the third period.
The Hurricanes scored two goals in the third period to beat the Panthers by the same 4-3 score on Feb. 21st.
“It’s almost the exact same game we had in here a week ago or so,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We got ahead and then we just cruised and all of a sudden, boom, boom, boom it was in the net. We didn’t learn our lesson obviously, but we came here for two points and that’s what we’re going away with.”
Greg McKegg and Brock McGinn also scored for the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek stopped 31 shots, including three breakaways in overtime.
“I can’t say enough about our goaltending; it’s been great lately and it’s been a real difference for us,” Brind’Amour said.
Henrik Borgstrom had two goals and an assist and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers. Sam Montembeault made 22 saves in his NHL debut.
Borgstrom broke a 2-2 tie with his second goal. Jamie McGinn passed from behind the net out to Borgstrom in front. Borgstrom fired a shot past Mrazek at 5:32 of the third.
Pesce tied it again when he backhanded a loose puck from in front into the net at 8:19.
The Panthers lost their third consecutive overtime game.
“Up 3-2 with 8 minutes to go, it’s a little tough to swallow,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said.
The Hurricanes got to the young goalie early, scoring two goals on the first three shots.
McGinn put the Hurricanes ahead 1-0 after he stole the puck away from defenseman Keith Yandle and fired a shot past Montembeault 1:26 in.
McKegg made the score 2-0 when his shot from in front beat Montembeault on the stick side at 2:05.
“I was real nervous at the beginning of the game, not the start I wanted with those two quick goals,” Montembeault said. “I put them behind me and took a deep breath and everything went better after that.”
Borgstrom’s shot from the left circle went high into the net at 5:01 to close the score to 2-1.
Pysyk got the puck off the faceoff and wristed a shot past Mrazek with 8:10 left in the first to tie it. The goal was Pysyk’s first of the season.
NOTES: Montembeault, 22, was recalled from AHL Springfield Feb. 27 on an emergency basis. … Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan missed his second game with an upper-body injury.