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NHL Game Summary - Florida at Carolina

(Tuesday, February 9th)

Final Score: Carolina 4, Florida 1

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Matt Cullen and Joni Pitkanen both tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers at RBC Center.

Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won three straight and seven of their last nine games overall. Manny Legace was solid with 19 saves in the victory.

"We were more patient, we skated hard and good things are starting to happen," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "And we are getting good goaltending."

Cory Stillman scored the only goal for Florida, which has lost all four of its games thus far in the month of February. Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 29 shots in the loss.

"We are in a tough stretch and we need to keep working until we get out of it -- that's the key to this league," said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer. "The low times can't be too low and the high times can't be too high. We are in a low point right now and we have to fight our way out of it."

Following a scoreless opening period, the Hurricanes scored the game's first goal 5:28 into the second stanza while on the power play.

With Keith Ballard in the penalty box for tripping, the hosts worked the puck around the perimeter before a one-timer from the left point. The shot missed wide, but Cullen corralled the rebound behind the net and passed to Eric Staal below the left circle near the post. Staal quickly passed across the top of the crease for a one-timer tap-in tally by Jokinen from the right post.

Near the midway point of the second, the Panthers knotted the contest on Stillman's 11th goal of 2009-10. Stephen Weiss, from inside the right circle, spotted Stillman open and in scoring position and fed a pass across the low slot that Stillman redirected into the back of the cage from the bottom of the left circle at the 9:36 mark.

With seven minutes remaining before the second intermission, the Hurricanes moved ahead 2-1 on Pitkanen's fourth goal, a slap shot from the right point after a pass from the left side by Ray Whitney.

Cullen's goal at the 3:11 mark of the final stanza sealed the victory. On a 2-on-1 break, Cullen carried the disc down the left-wing side, deked to maneuver around Florida blueliner Bryan Allen, cradled the puck on his stick and lit the lamp with a low wrister from near the top of the crease.

Tuomo Ruutu, who returned to the lineup after he had missed 15 games with an upper body injury, scored an empty-netter to cap the scoring.

Game Notes

Carolina has won five of its last six at home against the Panthers...The Hurricanes improved to 14-12-3 at home this season...The Panthers have dropped five straight road games...Carolina ended 1-for-4 on the power play, while Florida was scoreless on all three of its chances with the extra skater.

02/09 23:00:15 ET

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