Vokoun, Panthers shut out Hurricanes

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RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Tomas Vokoun made sure the

momentum of a third-period comeback in the Florida Panthers'

previous contest carried over for at least one more game.

Vokoun made 42 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and

five different players scored as the Panthers skated to a 5-0

win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

Nathan Horton, who also notched an assist, and Richard Zednik

netted first-period goals as Florida won for the seventh time in

its last nine games and improved to 3-1-1 against its Southeast

Division rival.

"Our defense had been carrying the load for us for a while, and

now the forwards are chipping in," Florida coach Peter DeBoer

said. "It's not just one or two guys, it's spread out through

the lineup, which is critical going down the stretch."

The Panthers trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, in the third

period Tuesday before rallying for a 5-4 win in overtime to

maintain its hold on the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference,

one point ahead of the Hurricanes.

"It doesn't happen often when you come back from three goals, so

it carried over to this one," Vokoun said. "If we had lost that

one, this one might have been different. We lost some tough

games last year, but so far (this season), we've been able to

come out on top. We're going to enjoy this one because it was a

great team win, but we've got another one tomorrow (against the

New York Rangers)."

There was not nearly as much drama in this one as Florida

distanced itself a bit in the standings behind a solid outing

from its goaltender.

"I much prefer these than the dramatic ones," DeBoer said. "I

thought out goaltender was our best player tonight. He started

things. I thought we scored some good goals, too."

It was the 29th career shutout for Vokoun, who made 15 saves in

the first period, 14 in the second and 13 in the third.

"You can look back and say we had 22 or 23 chances to score and

their goaltender made some big saves on a lot of them, but at

the end of the day, it's 5-0," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Tallies by Anthony Stewart and Gregory Campbell 12 seconds apart

midway through the second period built the lead to 4-0 and

chased goaltender Cam Ward.

"We've got four lines playing. Before, we were relying on 2 1/2

lines," Stewart said. "Everyone is contributing. We're keeping

guys fresh and everyone is performing."

Ward allowed four goals on just 13 shots before being replaced

by Michael Leighton, who made nine saves in 30 1/2 minutes of

action.

Florida was relentless around the net throughout, putting in

rebounds on three different occasions. After Horton gave

Florida a 1-0 lead at 7:31 of the first, Zednik buried his own

rebound with 7:11 remaining to double the advantage.

Stewart went streaking down the right side and avoided a

pokecheck attempt by Ward to make it 3-0 at 9:18 of the second,

and Campbell followed moments later with his 12th goal of the

season for a four-goal bulge.

"There were some good things, but some bad habits as well,"

Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu said. "It was 5-0 in your home building.

It's not acceptable. They got two points, we got none."

Rookie Michael Frolik capped the scoring with 6:27 left in the

third, and Kamil Kreps recorded a pair of assists for the

Panthers.

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