When reigning Lady Byng Trophy winner Jaccob Slavin took a penalty just 37 seconds into Saturday’s game in Florida, the Carolina Hurricanes had to figure it just wouldn’t be their night.
The Panthers scored three of their four first-period goals on the power play and Carolina suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 5-2 decision in an early-season battle of two of the NHL’s top two.
“We could have maybe even won this game,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I’d be still irate at the way we played. That was not good.”
Anthony Duclair led the way for Florida, scoring his first goal of the night on the power play during Slavin’s penalty, adding an empty-net goal at the end of the game and finishing with the first four-point game of his career.
The Panthers improved to 10-0-1 on the season, while Carolina left Sunrise with its first loss.
“We’ve got to be prepared. … I think the penalties are a result of lackluster play and not being prepared,” Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck said of the team’s four first-period penalties. “So yeah, I don’t think we were ready to play.”
The Hurricanes did attempt to claw their way back into the game in the second period despite the 4-0 deficit, replacing Frederik Andersen with Antti Raanta in goal.
Seven minutes into the middle frame, Jesper Fast scored his fifth goal of the season off a Slavin pass to get Carolina on the board.
Then the Hurricanes — already without defenseman Brett Pesce, who didn’t make the trip after being hurt Wednesday in Chicago — lost Raanta to injury when he raced out to play a puck and collided with charging Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg at 12:22 of the second period. Lomberg was assessed a game misconduct and a five-minute major penalty.
“You got probably way more looks at it than I did,” Brind’Amour said of collision. “It’s tough when I’m watching live. So I haven’t looked at it much other than when it happened in the game. (The officials) reviewed it.”
Brind’Amour said Raanta seemed “fine” after the game, “but I’m sure he’s concussed. You get hit in the head, that’s generally what goes on. I’m not sure yet, but I would assume that’s what’s going on.”
Carolina, with Andersen (23 saves) back in net, managed to cut the lead to two when Trocheck scored during the five-minute man advantage for his seventh goal in nine career games against his former team.
The Hurricanes didn’t get any closer despite having several chances on goalie Spencer Knight (30 saves).
“Guys battled hard after that, but we can’t dig ourselves in that kind of hole,” Slavin said.
Notes: Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo was given a 10-minute misconduct with 59 seconds left in the game. The team said DeAngelo was assessed the misconduct for shooting a rubber rat — a longtime celebratory prop of Panthers fans — that was thrown on the ice. … Despite allowing four goals and losing his first game of the season, Andersen’s goals-against average is still at 1.83 and his save percentage is .939. … Carolina last allowed three power play goals in a regular season game on Feb. 4, 2021, a 4-3 win at Chicago in the eighth game of last season. … Rookie Seth Jarvis, held without a point for the first time in his third career game, played 15:28, over 50% more than he played in his second game (10:01) Wednesday.