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FINAL
DET
2
PHI
7
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BOS
2
PIT
0
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CHI
6
SJS
2
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NYR
2
BUF
0
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WPG
2
TBL
1
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MTL
3
NYI
1
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2
CAR
0
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TOR
1
VAN
4
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MIN
3
STL
1
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NJD
4
ARI
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2
COL
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NSH
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LAK
1

Ellis, Panthers shut out Hurricanes

Kurt Dusterberg  - NHL.com Correspondent | Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 12:28 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Nothing has come easy for Dan Ellis since he broke into the NHL in 2003-04. Now playing with his sixth team, he is taking advantage of another opportunity to make an impression.

Playing in his fourth game since being recalled March 4, Ellis made 27 saves in the Florida Panthers' 2-0 shutout win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Brandon Pirri scored a power-play goal in the second period, and Dave Bolland scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining for the Panthers (31-23-14), who trail the Washington Capitals by six points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Ellis played in his fourth game after injuries to Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya and played for the Hurricanes during the 2012-13 season. After a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars last Thursday, he has been in goal for three straight wins.

"My career has gone all over the place," said Ellis, who has 15 NHL shutouts. "I've played for a lot of teams. I've been up, I've been down. But I'm here right now. That's what I have to focus on, and I am enjoying it right now. Anything you can do to help a team get into the playoffs, it's a special time of year to get into games."

Ellis was on top of his game in the first period when the Hurricanes (25-34-8) had a 15-8 advantage in shots. He stopped Jeff Skinner twice at the right post, then got square to an Elias Lindholm redirect attempt at the top of the crease.

"We didn't play well in the first," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "There was no contact, we weren't skating real well. They had 15 shots and a lot of quality scoring chances. After that, we played pretty well."

Ellis, who has an unflappable personality away from the ice, took an easy-going approach getting ready to face Carolina. He said he joked with his friends and former teammates during warmups.

"I think that sometimes helps you stay loose, [plus] I have a little familiarity with the players and the building," he said.

Pirri gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 16:20 of the second period. He skated the puck the length of the ice before orchestrating a give-and-go with Jimmy Hayes. When he received the return pass, Pirri tucked a bad-angle backhand inside the near post. Chris Terry was in the box for holding Jonathan Huberdeau's stick.

Pirri has five goals in his past seven games since returning from an upper-body injury.

"I just wanted to break it in, but they gave me a little more room than they usually do," Pirri said. "So we took what we were given and Jimmy made a great pass.

"I just tried to get it on net. Cam Ward was playing great. We just tried to get shots on him and get traffic. We're going to take what we can get right now."

The Panthers limited the Hurricanes to four shots in the second period and played well in front of Ellis for much of the third.

"I felt like it was going to be a close game throughout," Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We weren't at our best and they weren't rolling. We got the one, and we're luck it lasted. We really collapsed well [defensively] in the third period and hung on."

Carolina pressed hard in the final minutes. Ellis turned in his best save of the period on a wraparound shot from Eric Staal. Florida had a bit of good fortune too, when Ron Hainsey and Jeff Skinner each hit the post in the final minutes.

The Panthers had two good looks at an empty net after Carolina pulled Ward with 3:01 remaining. Justin Faulk wiped away Derek MacKenzie's tap in near the crease, and Jussi Jokinen missed the net from center ice before Bolland scored his fourth goal into the empty net.

"Dan Ellis was the real key for us," Gallant said. "He made a number of great saves. It was more of a 5-3 game than a 2-0 game, but the goalies were both real good."

Ellis has served as a rallying point for the Panthers, after playing his first 36 games of the season for the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.

"We haven't missed a beat since he's been here," Campbell said. "He's been incredible in all of them. He's been battling his whole career to get to the NHL and get an opportunity."

Ward made 20 saves for Carolina, which completed a five-game homestand 1-3-1. The Hurricanes have lost five of their past six.

"It's been going in the net a little bit too easy here lately and tonight there was one on the power play and an empty-netter," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "So I liked our first period, I thought the second didn't have a lot of flow. In the third, I liked our push back."

The Panthers play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Gallant expects Ellis to start again, hedging against the possibility that Luongo could return.

The Hurricanes play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
16:20FLA PPG - Brandon Pirri (14) ASST: Jimmy Hayes (13) 1 - 0 FLA
3rd Period
19:20FLA EN - Dave Bolland (4) ASST: Jussi Jokinen (32), Derek MacKenzie (6) 2 - 0 FLA
Three Stars of the Game
Dan Ellis
1st
SA: 27TOI: 59:45
GA: 0EV: 24-24
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Cam Ward
2nd
SA: 21TOI: 57:28
GA: 1EV: 19-19
PIM: 0PP: 1-2
SV%: .952SH: 0-0
Brandon Pirri
3rd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 13:20
Penalty Summary
1st Period
13:15CAR Nathan Gerbe  Hi-sticking against  Dave Bolland
16:56FLA Brandon Pirri  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
00:15CAR Eric Staal  Hooking against  Nick Bjugstad
00:15FLA Nick Bjugstad  Embellishment against  Eric Staal
04:24FLA Steven Kampfer  Roughing against  Nathan Gerbe
04:24CAR Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Steven Kampfer
15:22CAR Chris Terry  Holding the stick against  Jonathan Huberdeau
3rd Period
00:59FLA Steven Kampfer  Boarding against  Chris Terry
01:06CAR Jeff Skinner  Interference against  Derek MacKenzie
shots by period
PeriodFLACAR
1st815
2nd94
3rd58
Total2227
Team Stats
CategoryFLACAR
Power Plays1/30/2
Hits2926
Faceoff Wins2129
Giveaways1620
Takeaways1011
Blocked Shots1514
Penalty Minutes810
  • FLORIDA
  • CAROLINA
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3S. KampferD0001415:11
5A. EkbladD0001020:50
7D. KulikovD0001016:33
11J. HuberdeauL0001016:27
12J. HayesR0102012:02
16A. BarkovC0000017:07
17D. MacKenzieC0110013:36
19S. UpshallL0001012:12
21V. TrocheckC0003012:13
24B. BoyesR0001015:26
27N. BjugstadC0001215:30
33W. MitchellD0014021:25
36J. JokinenL0110016:40
44E. GudbransonD0010021:19
51B. CampbellD0000022:11
63D. BollandC1013013:51
68J. JagrR0001016:28
73B. PirriC1002013:20
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
39D. Ellis27271.00059:45
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
11J. StaalC00-12019:20
12E. StaalC00-17217:43
14N. GerbeL00-14418:05
15A. NestrasilC0001016:36
16E. LindholmC00-13014:32
18J. McClementC0000014:38
20R. NashC0001012:34
24B. MaloneC0001010:49
25C. TerryL0000212:11
26J. LilesD0000018:16
27J. FaulkD00-11025:19
28A. SeminR000009:20
47M. JordanD0002017:53
49V. RaskC00-11017:45
53J. SkinnerL0004214:26
62R. RissanenD0000012:53
65R. HainseyD0000023:34
73B. BellemoreD0000017:40
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30C. Ward2021.95257:28