Williams scores a power-player marker in OT as Hurricanes storm Panthers 3-2

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Five days after overcoming a three-goal deficit in the third period, the Hurricanes beat the Panthers 3-2 in overtime Tuesday night after tying the score with 6:26 left in the third. "Good hockey teams find ways to win and they get that character that they're never too far out of it," said Erik Cole, who scored the tying goal. "We're close. We definitely had that last year, but I definitely feel things are coming together."

Justin Williams gave Carolina the victory with a power-play goal at 1:47 of overtime.

Only 17 seconds after Mike Van Ryn was sent off for holding Rod Brind'Amour, Williams beat Ed Belfour with a wrist shot over his right shoulder.

"There's a couple of ways you can work it, but you're really just looking for that one perfect shot," Williams said. "It was early in the power play and I was just trying to find a little hole. Fortunately, I found it."

Van Ryn criticized the penalty call, which gave Carolina its seventh power play, compared to two for Florida.

"It seems every time you touch Brind'Amour you get a penalty," he said. "I don't understand it. He was going to the net, I just put my stick around him. I thought you were allowed to do that as long as you're not putting it between his feet. It seems we were battling and they fall down and we get penalties."

Scott Walker and Cole also scored for Carolina, which improved to 17-0 this season when leading after two periods.

Carolina also moved to 4-1 against Florida this season and 10-3 the past two seasons. The Hurricanes beat Florida 6-4 on Thursday night after trailing 3-0 after two periods.

"If you had told us we were going to be ahead with 8 minutes to go in the third, we would have taken that before the game," Florida centre Stephen Weiss said. "We have to find a way to win. It's the same old story. We have to bear down those last minutes."

Olli Jokinen and Nathan Horton scored for the Panthers, who were playing the 1,000th game in franchise history.

The Panthers fell to 0-10 in overtime this season. They are the only team in the NHL without a victory after regulation.

John Grahame, making his first start for Carolina in nine games, stopped 18 shots.

"It's not an ideal situation by any means," Grahame said of his rare start. "But the team needs two points regardless of who's playing. You've got to take the mind-set that it's your job to go out and get those points."

Belfour made 24 saves for Florida, which lost at home for the first time in five games.

Carolina led 1-0 heading into the third period before Jokinen and Horton scored to give Florida the lead. Cole tied it at 13:34 when he beat Belfour with a wrist shot from the slot.

Horton scored on a 5-on-3 advantage at 10:16 after his goal initially was disallowed because of a high stick. Replays showed that Horton knocked the puck down below the crossbar before poking home a rebound.

Jokinen tied the score for Florida at 5:56 with his sixth goal in his last four games. Jokinen grabbed a long rebound in the slot and beat Grahame with a wrist shot to the glove side.

Walker opened the scoring at 10:49 of the first period with a power-play goal. Cole's pass along the boards behind the net took a bad bounce and Walker grabbed the loose puck at the side of the net before beating Belfour.

Carolina came close to extending its lead in the second period when Williams' wrist shot hit the post.

"I thought that we carried the play," Cole said. "With the exception of our power play not capitalizing on our opportunities, I thought the game could have been a done deal in the second period. We kind of let them hang around."

Notes: Carolina D Glen Wesley returned to the lineup after missing the previous four games because of a lower-body injury. ... Florida C Jozef Stumpel and LW David Booth missed the game because of upper-body injuries sustained Saturday against Washington. ... The Panthers' record through 1,000 games is 376-427-143-54.


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