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REVIEW: Florida Panthers 5, HURRICANES 1

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Pavel Bure and Scott Mellanby scored power-play goals to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-1 over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

The first-place Panthers opened up a 14-point lead over second-place Carolina in the Southeast Division and snapped a seven-game winless streak against the Hurricanes (0-3-4).

Mellanby's power-play goal at 4:03 of the second period gave Florida a 2-1 lead. Bure's pinpoint wrist shot from the blue line was redirected by Mellanby.

Carolina also scored a power-play goal when Paul Coffey swatted in a rebound of Jeff O'Neill's shot from the point. It was Coffey's fourth goal of the season and 389th of his career.

Florida broke open a 2-1 game in the third period with three goals within 4:31. Rob Niedermayer, Ray Whitney and Mark Parrish all scored even-strength goals. Mellanby added an assist on Niedermayer's goal.

Mike Vernon had 30 saves, including two sprawling stops against Andrei Kovalenko during a Hurricanes' power play in the closing seconds of the second period to preserve Florida's 2-1 lead.

Bure opened the scoring in the first period, when he took Robert Svehla's breakout pass, faked a slap shot and slipped a wrist shot past Arturs Irbe. Irbe (3-1-4) lost his first career decision to Florida.

Summary NHL FINAL               1ST  2ND  3RD     TOTAL                        ---  ---  ---     -----    CAROLINA             0    1    0        1    FLORIDA              1    1    3        5GOAL SCORING:1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) PAVEL BURE 30 (ROBERT SVEHLA) 15:572ND PRD: FLA - (PP) SCOTT MELLANBY 11 (PAVEL BURE, VIKTOR KOZLOV)4:03CAR - (PP) PAUL COFFEY 4 (JEFF O'NEILL, SAMI KAPANEN) 11:473RD PRD: FLA - ROB NIEDERMAYER 6 (SCOTT MELLANBY, MARCUS NILSON)11:12FLA - RAY WHITNEY 18 (VIKTOR KOZLOV) 14:37FLA - RYAN JOHNSON 2 (MARK PARRISH, MIKE WILSON) 15:43POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: CAR - 1 OF 5, FLA - 2 OF 3.SHOTS ON GOAL:1ST  2ND  3RDTOTALCAR    9   14    8       31FLA    8   11    6       25GOALIES: CAR - ARTURS IRBE; FLA - MIKE VERNONOFFICIALS: REF - FAUCETTE, ZELKIN;LIN - COLLINS, S PROVOSTATT: 15,073
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