NHL Game Summary - Florida at Carolina
(Thursday, February 12th)
Final Score: Florida 5, Carolina 0
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Tomas Vokoun notched his fourth shutout of the season and 29th of his career, making 42 saves, and the Florida Panthers put forth a dominating effort with five different goal scorers in knocking off the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-0, in a Southeast Division battle at RBC Center.
Nathan Horton, Richard Zednik, Anthony Stewart, Gregory Campbell and Michael Frolik all scored for the Panthers, who have won four of their last five and were coming off a dramatic win against Toronto in overcoming a three-goal deficit in the third period.
Carolina had won 15 of the previous 16 meetings in Raleigh and Florida won for just the fifth time in 28 tries as the visitor in this series.
"I much prefer these better than the dramatic ones but our goaltender was our best player tonight. He started things and I thought we scored some good goals too," Florida head coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought they were all legitimate goals, we created them with our forecheck. We took advantage of our opportunities."
Florida and the Hurricanes were separated by just one point in the division coming into Thursday's contest but it was the Panthers who looked all the better in stretching their lead to three points in the battle for a playoff seed come April.
Cam Ward allowed four goals on just 13 shots before giving way to Michael Leighton close to midway through the second. Leighton was beaten once on 10 shots as Carolina saw its two-game win streak come to an unceremonious end.
The Hurricanes were shutout for the first time this season and suffered their most lopsided home loss since a 6-0 blanking by Ottawa on December 12, 2007.
Florida got a pair of goals in the early going thanks to some good forechecking.
David Booth dug out the puck from behind the net and flipped it back into the slot where Keith Ballard directed a pass out to the left of the net and Horton one-timed the disc past Ward from a wide angle at 7:31.
Horton then pressured a Carolina defender in the left corner, seized the puck and hit Zednik in stride for a one-timer from the low slot. Ward made the initial save but Zednik followed and banged home the rebound at 12:49.
"I don't think we felt comfortable. I think that was part of the problem. We beat that puck up pretty bad at times, especially in our own end," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "That was the message -- the game is going to be won or lost in our end, and we're down on two bad plays in our own end right off the bat."
Vokoun kept the 'Canes off the scoreboard with point-blank stops of Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov late in the frame on his way to 15 first-period saves.
Stewart made it a 3-0 affair by motoring past the Carolina defense along the right boards and slipping a backhander through the legs of Ward. Just 12 seconds later Campbell followed his own rebound for a score that signaled the end of Ward's night.
Leighton didn't fare much better as Frolik followed up a Kamil Kreps blast that caught iron to make it a 5-0 game at 13:33 of the second.
Vokoun did the rest as Carolina was unable to breach the scoreboard despite firing 27 shots on net over the final 40 minutes of play.
The Panthers took a 3-2 edge in the season series with the win, which was also the first road victory over those five games...Horton also had an assist and Kreps logged two helpers in the win.
02/12 22:08:59 ET