The Hurricanes moved ahead of the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference playoff race without goalie Cam Ward, who injured his left knee Sunday. John Grahame made 26 saves in Ward's place.
Jozef Stumpel scored for the Panthers, who earned at least a point in nine of their previous 10 games.
Walker punched in a loose puck with 15.3 seconds left in the second period to break a 1-1 tie. It was Walker's 20th goal of the season and just the second power-play goal for Carolina in 43 opportunities.