NHL

Skinner nets 2nd with 3:55 left, Hurricanes top Panthers 4-3

  • Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, center, holds the puck on Florida Panthers' Thomas Vanek, of Austria (26) as teammates Brock McGinn (23) and Jaccob Slavin (74) defend during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, center, holds the puck on Florida Panthers' Thomas Vanek, of Austria (26) as teammates Brock McGinn (23) and Jaccob Slavin (74) defend during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Carolina Carolina Hurricanes' Sebastian Aho (20), of Finland, and Florida Panthers' Vincent Trocheck (21) battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Carolina Carolina Hurricanes' Sebastian Aho (20), of Finland, and Florida Panthers' Vincent Trocheck (21) battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Carolina Hurricanes' Phillip Di Giuseppe (34) and Florida Panthers' Alex Petrovic, right, look for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

    Carolina Hurricanes' Phillip Di Giuseppe (34) and Florida Panthers' Alex Petrovic, right, look for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)  (The Associated Press)

Jeff Skinner's scoring tear is no coincidence. Just ask his coach.

The left wing had two goals, including the game-winner with 3:55 left, to lead the Carolina Hurricanes over the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Skinner has an eight-game point streak, with five goals in his last three games, and leads the team with 28 goals and 51 points this season.

"He's at the net; he's doing things right," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "He went at the net hard on the game-winner and got rewarded for it."

The Hurricanes fell behind on three occasions but each time came back to tie the game before Skinner finally scored the winner.

"We're a better team when it's tied or we're playing with the lead," Peters said. "A young group, so we feel a little more confident in those situations. Those are real big answers."

Carolina went ahead for good 4-3 when Derek Ryan passed from behind the goal line to Skinner in front and he pushed the puck past goaltender Reto Berra.

"(Ryan) made a great play driving wide and I just had to go to the net with my stick on the ice and put it on the net," Skinner said. "You want to have good responses after a goal against or even a goal for. For us to be able to do that a couple of times was good for us."

Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist for Carolina, and Teuvo Teravainen also scored. Cam Ward stopped 33 shots.

"It was a gutsy effort. At times it wasn't pretty, but every time they scored we were able to respond and counter with another goal to even it up," Ward said.

Keith Yandle, Reilly Smith and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers. Jaromir Jagr added two assists and has 41 points this season.

Berra made 21 saves in his first start since being recalled from the minors March 3. His previous NHL start was on Dec. 9, 2015, for the Colorado Avalanche in a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh.

"At the beginning, I was fighting the puck a little bit, but as the game went on I felt better," Berra said.

The Hurricanes are six points behind Toronto for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Panthers are eight points out.

The Panthers took a 3-2 lead on Yandle's goal 1:14 into the second. Yandle attempted a pass that deflected off several Hurricanes players and into the net.

The lead didn't last long. Carolina tied the game for the third time when Skinner grabbed a loose puck and poked it in at 1:41 for his first goal of the night.

"I don't know how many games we have lost in the last five minutes. We have been leading almost every game the last two months, and then we find a way to lose them," Barkov said. "I don't know. It's unbelievable."

Smith's goal put the Panthers in front 2-1. Smith took a pass from Jussi Jokinen in front and poked it into the open net at 11:51.

Aho tied the score 2-all with a short-handed goal. He took a pass from Elias Lindholm in front and slid it under Berra's pads at 14:24 of the first.

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 1:35 in when he deflected a shot from the point by Jason Demers past Ward.

Teravainen evened the score with his power-play goal. The puck came off the boards to Teravainen at the side of the net and he swept it in at 5:09.

NOTES: Panthers D Aaron Ekblad returned after missing four games with a concussion. ... C Vincent Trocheck has consecutive 50-point seasons. ... Since returning to the Panthers' lineup on Feb. 3, Barkov has 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) over his last 20 games. ... Lindholm has points in a career-high eight straight games.

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Panthers: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.