RALEIGH — This time, the most was made of an early goal from forward Patrick Dwyer.
And Dwyer is making much of his third stint with the Carolina Hurricanes, who went on to a 3-2 win over Florida Panthers at the RBC Center Saturday.
The Hurricanes (9-20-6) had fallen 6-3 at the Panthers on Friday night. Dwyer scored the first goal in that game, too.
On Saturday, Dwyer, who was called up from the Albany River Rats for the third time this season on Dec. 15, raced to the end boards with Florida’s Keith Ballard and was there to one-time a pass center Matt Cullen wrapped across the crease at 12:28.
Dwyer had been moved into the line with Cullen and Jussi Jokinen, with forward Tom Kostopoulos moving into the line with Brandon Sutter and Sergei Samsonov.
Just over two minutes after Dwyer’s goal, Hurricanes forward Stephane Yelle was sent to the box for tripping.
But on the ensuing penalty kill, former Hurricanes defenseman Dennis Seidenberg couldn’t locate the puck along the blue line and Cullen collected it, with him and Dwyer racing into a two-on-one with Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe.
Cullen sent a glance towards Dwyer to draw off McCabe for a moment, then wristed a shot past Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen for a short-handed goal.
And the other end of the lineup change added a goal in the second period, when Samsonov scored from the left circle on a pass from Kostopoulos. Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison connected with Kostopoulos on a pass across the ice just before the Panthers’ blue line.
Carolina goalie Cam Ward had a shutout going into the third period, but was caught behind the net on a weird bounce off the end glass.
Florida defenseman Jordan Leopold had dumped the puck into the Carolina end, but puck rode the glass sill and laid out in front, a gift for Florida center Shawn Matthias at 2:17 in the period.
About three minutes later, Ward turned away a two-on-one attempt with a dazzling save.
Florida (15-15-7) had other late chances.
Forward Tuomo Ruutu was called for holding, and then Florida was set up with 94 seconds of a two-man advantage after hooking penalties from Ray Whitney and Stephane Yelle.
Florida center Stephen Weiss scored his 17th goal of the season at 12:39.
There was about about a minute left in the Yelle’s penalty, but the Hurricanes killed it off.
Carolina’s top center, Eric Staal, had a five-game points streak end.
Missing from the lineup was defenseman Tim Gleason, who was hoped to be healthy. Gleason was struck in the face by a puck last Friday against the Washington Capitals.