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Panthers-Canes Skate To A Tie


Scott Mellanby scored an unassisted power-play goal in the third period as the Florida Panthers tied the Carolina Hurricanes 2-2 Saturday night.

The Hurricanes, ranked last on the power play in the NHL and scoreless in their previous 24 chances with the man advantage, got power-play goals from Sami Kapanen and Ron Francis within five minutes of each other to take a 2-1 lead after one period.

The Panthers tied it at 8:23 of the third when Hurricanes defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn failed to clear a puck in front as Mellanby swooped in and beat Arturs Irbe for his 16th goal.

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  • The Panthers, still recovering from an NHL record-tying collapse Wednesday in which they lost 7-5 to Colorado after blowing a 5-0 lead and also lost superstar forward Pavel Bure for up to three weeks, are 0-2-2 in their last four games.

    Florida outshot Carolina 16-3 in the third period and allowed a season-low 15 shots overall.

    The Panthers, 0-1-4 against Carolina this season, trail the Southeast-leading Hurricanes by eight points with two games in hand and are three points behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

    The Hurricanes gave up Bill Lindsay's short-handed goal on their first power-play opportunity, giving Florida a 1-0 lead. Carolina has allowed an NHL-low three short-handed goals this season, all coming on the road.

    Kapanen's wrist shot from the slot beat Panthers goaltender Kirk Mclean at 9:16 to tie the game. Francis scored from in close at 14:08 to make it 2-1 Carolina.

    Arturs Irbe made 33 saves in the Carolina net.

    Earlier Saturday, the Hurricanes acquired right wing Andrei Kovalenko from Philadelphia for defenseman Adam Burt. Kovalenko, joining his third team this season and fifth in seven years, will join the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday.

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