SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Panthers took the lead over the Carolina
Hurricanes with their power play. They protected the advantage with their
Kristian Huselius and Matt Cullen scored power-play goals, and the Panthers
killed off all six penalties, including a five-on-three disadvantage for 1:12
in the first period, on their way to a 3-1 victory Monday night.
``It was a good effort defensively and we got some big goals,'' goalie
Roberto Luongo said. ``That's the key to success right there.''
Olli Jokinen added an empty-net goal for the Panthers, who snapped their
season-high, five-game losing streak. It was Florida's fifth consecutive home
victory over the Hurricanes.
``It's nice to win,'' Cullen said. ``It's so much more fun to be around
everyone when you win. These last three games are important for us. We want to
get some wins.''
Jaroslav Svoboda scored for Carolina, which lost on the road in regulation
for the first time since Feb. 14 (8-1-0-3).
Luongo, who set an NHL record for most saves in a season Thursday at
Carolina, stopped 28 shots. He stopped 42 shots in his previous outing against
``He's used to seeing a lot of rubber,'' said Carolina center Kevyn Adams,
who was stopped on a short-handed breakaway in the final seconds of the second
period. ``But more than shots is rebounds and crashing the net. You've got to
make life miserable for him in general.''
Arturs Irbe made 23 saves in his eighth start of the season for Carolina.
The Hurricanes, who came in with the NHL's worst power play, have failed on
their last 23 chances and failed to even get a shot on goal during their
Two Carolina players broke their sticks during the two-man advantage.
``On the five-on-three, we just didn't get it going or get it set up,'' said
defenseman Sean Hill, who finished with a game-high eight shots on goal. ``We
just never got in sync. As far as the other (power plays) go, we had the puck
in their zone the whole time, we were peppering him, had lots of rebounds, lots
``Luongo clearly was the difference in the game.''
Huselius scored 12:41 in after Jokinen's cross-ice pass for Niklas Hagman
was deflected by a Carolina defenseman. Huselius one-timed the loose puck to
Irbe's glove side for his first goal since Feb. 21.
Cullen made it 2-0 at 2:13 of the third when his wrist shot from the right
dot slipped between Irbe's left arm and body.
Svoboda cut the lead 1:01 later when his shot from the deep corner bounced
off Panthers defenseman Branislav Mezei.
``We had our chances to win the game,'' Carolina coach Peter Laviolette
said. ``We had a lot of shots on the power play, we had shots on five-on-five
... we couldn't beat him. The only time we beat him was when he was out of the