Huberdeau shines in debut for Panthers in 5-1 win

Alain Poupart  - Correspondent | Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 11:24 PM

SUNRISE, Fla. — Brian Campbell scored two power-play goals and Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists in his NHL debut as the Florida Panthers opened defense of their Southeast Division title with a 5-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes before a sellout crowd of 19,688 at the BB&T Center on Saturday night.

Veteran Alex Kovalev, who was signed after attending Panthers camp on a tryout basis, also had a goal and two assists. Scottie Upshall had the other first-period power-play goal for the Panthers, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first 20 minutes.

Jose Theodore made 41 saves for Florida. Patrick Dwyer scored for the Hurricanes, who are looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Cam Ward started in net for Carolina, but was pulled after the first period after allowing four goals on 12 shots.

The Hurricanes, who lost five of six against Florida last season, don’t play again until Tuesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carolina had the better of play over the last two periods, but by then the damage had been done. It didn't help that the Hurricanes finished 0-for-6 on the power play.

The Panthers were opening at home for the first time since the 2006-07 season, when they had another memorable performance. That night, they beat the Boston Bruins 8-3.

After a pregame ceremony that included the unveiling of a banner commemorating the first division title in Panthers history, Huberdeau scored Florida’s first goal of the season at 3:51.

Huberdeau, the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was standing in front of the net when he tapped in Peter Mueller’s perfect feed from behind the net.

Campbell made it 2-0 at 6:42 after Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty tried to move the puck past him at the blue line instead of simply clearing the zone. After stealing the puck, Campbell skated and beat Ward with a slap shot high to the glove side.

Campbell’s second goal at 16:47 came with eight seconds remaining in a 5-on-3 advantage. Like the first, Campbell scored on a slap shot, but this one went high to the stick side.

It was the second two-goal game of Campbell's career. The defenseman also had two goals on Nov. 17, 2005 against Washington when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

Upshall closed out the first-period scoring after a nifty play by Huberdeau. After taking a pass from Tomas Fleischmann just inside the Carolina blue line, Huberdeau deked past Tlusty before passing to the wing to Upshall, who one-timed it past Ward.

Huberdeau also got the first assist on Kovalev’s goal, which gave Florida a 5-0 lead 3:35 into the second period. Kovalev, back in the NHL after playing 22 games in the KHL last season, scored when he ricocheted a backhand from behind the net off the back of backup goalie Dan Ellis.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
03:37FLA Jonathan Huberdeau (1) ASST: Peter Mueller (1), Alex Kovalev (1) 1 - 0 FLA
06:42FLA PPG - Brian Campbell (1) ASST: NONE 2 - 0 FLA
16:47FLA PPG - Brian Campbell (2) ASST: Alex Kovalev (2), Stephen Weiss (1) 3 - 0 FLA
17:27FLA PPG - Scottie Upshall (1) ASST: Jonathan Huberdeau (1), Tomas Fleischmann (1) 4 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
03:35FLA Alex Kovalev (1) ASST: Jonathan Huberdeau (2), Filip Kuba (1) 5 - 0 FLA
09:15CAR Patrick Dwyer (1) ASST: Joni Pitkanen (1), Justin Faulk (1) 5 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
Three Stars of the Game
Jonathan Huberdeau
Jonathan Huberdeau
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 2Hits: 2
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 14:25
Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 25:42
Alex Kovalev
Alex Kovalev
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 16:08
Penalty Summary
1st Period
05:36CAR Joe Corvo  Cross checking against  Jerred Smithson
08:35FLA Jonathan Huberdeau  Holding against  Jordan Staal
14:15FLA George Parros  Interference on goalkeeper against  Cam Ward
14:54CAR Joe Corvo  Holding against  Tomas Kopecky
16:07CAR Jeff Skinner  Hooking against  Filip Kuba
2nd Period
11:20FLA Tomas Fleischmann  Hooking against  Jeff Skinner
17:46CAR Alexander Semin  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:46CAR Alexander Semin  Cross checking against  Jose Theodore
18:05FLA Tyson Strachan  Roughing against  Tim Gleason
18:05CAR Tim Gleason  Cross checking against  Tomas Kopecky
18:05FLA Tomas Kopecky  Cross checking against  Tim Gleason
19:56CAR Chad LaRose  Tripping against  Alex Kovalev
3rd Period
03:47FLA Mike Santorelli  Interference against  Tim Gleason
14:01FLA Keaton Ellerby  Hooking against  Zach Boychuk
16:37FLA Alex Kovalev  Tripping against  Jay Harrison
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/63/6
Faceoff Wins3031
Blocked Shots1014
Penalty Minutes1416
6T. GleasonD00-12216:09
11J. StaalC00-22017:00
12E. StaalC0013021:45
18Z. BoychukL0000010:13
19J. TlustyL0004010:54
21D. BowmanL001509:30
22Z. DalpeC00-22010:43
24B. SanguinettiD00-10016:20
25J. PitkanenD0110025:26
27J. FaulkD0113025:28
28A. SeminR0001423:03
36J. JokinenL0003018:55
37T. BrentC001109:48
39P. DwyerR101308:01
44J. HarrisonD00-11016:25
53J. SkinnerL00-24217:44
59C. LaRoseR0004212:07
77J. CorvoD00-14420:12
30C. Ward812.66720:00
31D. Ellis1213.92339:58
4K. EllerbyD0011222:16
9S. WeissC01-10018:50
11J. HuberdeauL1225214:25
12J. SkilleR0002011:52
13M. SantorelliC00-11213:25
14T. FleischmannL01-15217:14
17F. KubaD0110021:23
18S. MatthiasC0000014:38
19S. UpshallR1003014:56
22G. ParrosR000027:52
23T. StrachanD00-11214:01
25J. SmithsonC0000011:28
27A. KovalevR1223216:08
51B. CampbellD2012025:42
55E. JovanovskiD0011018:13
62M. CarusoD00-10013:58
82T. KopeckyR0000215:55
88P. MuellerC0121013:50
60J. Theodore4142.97659:56