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SUNRISE, Fla. — The Carolina Hurricanes matched the best start in their history with a 6-3 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes (4-0-0) matched the start of the Hartford Whalers in 1995-96.
James Reimer, acquired by the Hurricanes in a trade from the Panthers on June 30, made 47 saves.
“It’s a good feeling,” Reimer said. “Anytime you face your old team you want to play well and you want to get two points. For us, we’re just grinding, we’re just trying to play our best games and accumulate as many points as possible. Tonight, everyone worked their butts off and sacrificed. It was just another heck of a win for us.”
Ryan Dzingel scored his first two goals for the Hurricanes, Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist, and Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho scored. Andrei Svechnikov and Haydn Fleury each had two assists.
Keith Yandle scored for Florida (1-2-0) and became the fifth player in NHL history and the first born in the United States to play in 800 consecutive games. He joined Doug Jarvis (964), Garry Unger (914), Steve Larmer (884) and Andrew Cogliano (830).
MacKenzie Weegar and Evgenii Dadonov scored, and Aleksander Barkov and Mike Hoffman each had two assists for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 14 shots and was pulled after the first period. Sam Montembeault made 19 saves in relief.
Carolina led 4-0 after the first period. Florida outshot Carolina 40-21 in the second and third.
“We came out a little flat, not ready to start,” Yandle said. “We showed a lot of pride to come back, but it was too little, too late.”
Staal made it 1-0 at 6:48, Teravainen increased it to 2-0 at 11:04, Hamilton made it 3-0 at 15:37, and Dzingel scored a power-play goal at 18:14 for a 4-0 lead.
Teravainen’s goal came after Carolina killed off a 5-on-3 for 1:10.
“That, to me, is the play of the game,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We got some huge blocks. One comes to mind, [Joel Edmundson] gets in there and blocks it, and we go down and score. That basically kills the other team. Give them credit, they fought back and played a good game after that, but that’s probably the turning point of the game.”
Dzingel, who signed with Carolina as a free agent July 12 after splitting last season between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets, extended the lead to 5-0 at 1:31 of the second when he scored on a rebound.
“I always start a little slow,” Dzingel said. “It always takes a little while for me to get into it. Two easy ones there, I’ll take them. Great plays by the guys and pretty much free goals, so I like it.”
Weegar cut it to 5-1 at 3:51. Yandle scored on a power play at 9:34 of the third period to make it 5-2, and Dadonov made it 5-3 at 15:52, also on a power play.
Aho scored into an empty net at 18:41 for the 6-3 final.
“The start was great,” Brind’Amour said. “Really, that’s where the game was won for us. Believe it or not, playing with a big lead is actually tough because the other team is just going crazy. We did sit back a tiny bit and [Reimer] had to come up with too many big saves. But at the end of the day, the game was won because the guys came out ready to play.”
They said it
“You play to win, right? I didn’t love this game. It’s probably our worst game of the bunch, and yet you score six goals. It’s strange how that works out. A lot to work on, which is great. We’re still in a good spot and we know we can be better, so we’ll go on the drawing board here tomorrow and get better.” — Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour
“The start wasn’t what we expected. We can’t expect we’re going to play well all the time. We didn’t work hard enough; it starts with myself. We weren’t ready at the beginning of the game. You have to be ready right from the start.” — Panthers center Aleksander Barkov
Need to know
The 1995-96 Whalers tied their fifth game (2-2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins) before losing five in a row. … This is the first game the Hurricanes have won in regulation this season. They won two in overtime and one in a shootout. … Twelve Carolina skaters had at least one point. … Brind’Amour reached 50 wins in his 86th game (50-29-7), the fastest in Hurricanes/Whalers history. Peter Laviolette (50 wins in 96 games) had held the record. … Yandle led all skaters with eight shots. … Barkov won 16 of 23 face-offs (70 percent). … The Panthers had 50 shots for the first time since Jan. 15, when they had 53 in a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Hurricanes: Host the New York Islanders on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Panthers: At the Buffalo Sabres on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, MSG-B, FS-F, NHL.TV)