THE POINTS just keep coming for the Florida Panthers, especially on home ice.
Kris Versteeg scored 3 minutes, 8 seconds into overtime, giving the Panthers a 3-2 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes last night.
Stephen Weiss' shot from in front was blocked, but Versteeg found the loose puck and swept it in for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
Sean Bergenheim and Jason Garrison also scored for Florida, and Jose Theodore made 24 saves. The Panthers have earned at least one point in eight straight home games; their last 12 contests on their rink have been decided by one goal. The Panthers stretched their lead in the Southeast Division to eight points, tied with Boston for the largest edge in the NHL.
"When you go on the road and play a team that hasn't hardly lost in their rink, you've got to find ways to pick up a win," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said.
Panthers' center Greg Rallo was called up from San Antonio of the AHL and made his NHL debut. Rallo is the second 30-year-old player to debut with the Panthers this season. Bracken Kearns played his first NHL game on Oct. 20 against Buffalo.
At Chicago, Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks' 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.