SUNRISE, Fla. – Tuomo Ruutu scored two third-period goals and the Carolina Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Ruutu's goals came 1:28 apart as the Hurricanes overcame a 3-0 deficit and beat the Panthers in Florida for the first time in five games. Erik Cole and Jamie McBain also scored, and Justin Peters had 21 saves for Carolina in relief role.
Evgeny Dadonov, Michael Frolik, and Bryan McCabe had goals for Florida, which got 30 saves from Tomas Vokoun.
Ruutu's first goal came on a 5-on-3 power play and made it 3-3. He took a pass from Jeff Skinner in front and scored with a wrist shot at 12:20. Ruutu then picked off a pass from Vokoun in front of the crease and scored the game-winner with another wrister at 13:48.
Carolina began its comeback in the second period. Skinner made a nifty move near the blue line by passing the puck between the legs of defenseman Mike Weaver, skated around him to regain the puck, and brought it into the Panthers' zone. His shot was blocked by Vokoun, but Cole grabbed the rebound and put a wrist shot past Vokoun at 14:39.
The Hurricanes closed to 3-2 at 7:02 of the third on McBain's first goal of the season.
The Panthers scored their first two goals less than two minutes into the game, chasing goalie Cam Ward from the game. The first came 29 seconds in when Shawn Matthias won a faceoff and pushed the puck out to Marty Reasoner, who fed the puck to Dadonov in front. It was the first NHL career goal for the 21-year-old Dadonov and the fastest opening goal for the Panthers this season.
Florida went up 2-0 when Chris Higgins passed the puck from the left circle across to Frolik in the right circle. Frolik shot a backhander that beat Ward at 1:42. Ward faced only five shots before being pulled in favor of Peters.
The Panthers quickly took advantage of Peters during a 5-on-3 power play when Dennis Wideman sent the puck from the left circle to McCabe above the right circle. McCabe's slap shot made it 3-0 at 5:16 of the first.
NOTES: Florida C Stephen Weiss earned his 300th assist on Frolik's goal. ... Panthers D Bryan Allen returned after missing nine games because of a foot injury. Higgins returned after missing five games with a staph infection. ... Eric Staal's assist on Cole's goal broke a season-high, four-game scoring drought.