Vokoun, Panthers shut out Hurricanes

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.”

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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

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