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Ducks overcome Luongo's heroics to top Panthers

by Alain Poupart /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo had another strong performance Thursday, but the Anaheim Ducks were able to solve him.

Cam Fowler and Andrew Cogliano beat Luongo and the Ducks defeated the Panthers 3-1 at BB&T Center.

Luongo made 38 saves, although he came up short in his attempt to move into sole possession of seventh place on the NHL's all-time victories list. Luongo was coming off a 39-save shutout in a 1-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

"I think we were a little bit frustrated,"���Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You get a goaltending performance like that, that's freaking pretty good. But you have to stick with it because if you throw your hands up in the air and say we're not going to score, then all of a sudden you end up losing the game."

Jakob Silfverberg scored an empty-netter with 1:08 remaining for his first goal of the season.

Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for the Ducks. He was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots in their 3-2 loss against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

"He's our No. 1 guy and we've got to make sure that he plays,"���Boudreau said. "And I have to show him that I���have the utmost confidence in him. If he's a forward or a defenseman, we all have bad games. They don't sit out the next game. We wanted Freddy right back in there and he rewarded us."

Ryan Getzlaf had two assists for the Ducks (7-9-4), who���are 6-2-2 in their past 10 games.

Aleksander Barkov, in his second game back after missing 10 because of a broken hand, scored in the third period for Florida. The Panthers (8-8-3), who were coming off a home-and-home sweep of the Lightning, failed in their attempt to win three games in a row for the first time this season.

"They were a big, strong, physical team and we didn't respond to that very well," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Our guys didn't want the puck enough. You can't win a game like that with [our] goalie standing on his head. He kept us in the game as long as he could."

The Ducks swept the season series with the Panthers; they won the first game 3-2 in a shootout Nov. 4 at Honda Center.

Fowler opened the scoring when he beat Luongo with a wrist shot from the slot at 16:39 of the second period, ending a shutout streak that spanned 111:43 of game action.

"At times during this season I���think it would have maybe affected our team and we maybe would start to cheat offensively, but I didn't see that at all today,"���Fowler said. "I���thought we continued to stay with it. Tip your hat to him. He played a heck of a game, made some big saves early. But we knew that if we stuck with it, we stuck with our forecheck, you could kind of tell toward the end of the second period, you felt like something was going to turn and something was going to come. Credit our guys for sticking with it."

After making big save after big save, Luongo let Fowler's shot find its way between his pads with Getzlaf standing next to him. Luongo had made 74 consecutive saves, going back to the Panthers' 5-4 shootout victory at Tampa Bay on Saturday, before Fowler scored on the power play.

"I was going to go take the shot and I���kind of got slashed at kind of the same time,"���Fowler said. "I���don't know if it fooled Luongo a little bit, but I���didn't get all of it on the shot and I���just tried to get it to the net and it squeaked in the five-hole. I'll take it. It was a good goal for our team and for our power play. Hopefully that can give us some momentum on the power play moving forward."

Anaheim came in with the NHL's 24th-ranked power play and the top-ranked penalty-killing unit.

The Ducks not only killed all three Panthers power plays, they got a shorthanded goal when Cogliano made it 2-0 at 14:41 of the third period. With Kevin Bieksa in the box for roughing, Cogliano scored on a 2-on-1 after a turnover inside the Anaheim blue line. He took a pass from Shawn Horcoff and flipped a wrist shot past Luongo.

"It's been a big part of our success and really kept us in games,"���������Cogliano said. "We wanted to get that kill for [Bieksa] and it was a big one for us. I was lucky to get a goal and it was the game-winner. It's funny how things work out. The power play has been good for us all year."

Barkov cut into the lead at 16:08 with a wrist shot from the high slot that trickled in after hitting the bottom of Andersen's blocker.

The Panthers were outshot 41-25 and didn't generate much offense. Gallant even tried switching up all four forward lines in the third period.

"It's about putting the puck in the net, and we refused to do that,"���������Gallant said. "We had some great opportunities in the first period; we ended up with four or five shots in the first, but we keep passing up shots to put fancy passes and they never work. You've got to put pucks on the net, you have to go to the net, and we refused to do that."

Florida played its second game without defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who will miss 2-4 weeks because of a knee injury.

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