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Hurricanes 4, Panthers 3, SO @NHLdotcom

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Erik Cole is hoping people won't talk too much about his signature move on penalty shots. That's not likely to happen.

Cole beat Florida goalie Roberto Luongo with a nifty move in the shootout, leading the streaking Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory over the Panthers on Wednesday night.

Cole scored with the same move he used to beat Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig on a penalty shot Saturday night. He came in wide on his forehand side, skated in toward the middle of the net, then pulled the puck back to his forehand and shot it into the open net.

"I'd rather really not talk too much about it," Cole said. "All you can do is hope it doesn't get too many highlights and it doesn't get out there too much."

Cole's goal came on Carolina's fourth shootout attempt. The Hurricanes won the shootout 2-1, clinching the victory when goalie Martin Gerber stopped Martin Gelinas.

Ray Whitney also scored in the shootout for Carolina. Florida's Olli Jokinen answered Whitney's goal in the shootout before Nathan Horton and Joe Nieuwendyk were stopped.

Carolina improved to 4-1 in shootouts, while Florida dropped to 1-3.

"We're confident in our goaltender there and we've got a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour said.

Brind'Amour had sent the game to overtime with his second power-play goal with 1:04 left in the third period. Cullen also scored for Carolina, which is 11-1 in its last 12 games.

Jozef Stumpel, Mike Van Ryn and Horton scored for Florida, which has lost at home in regulation only once in 12 games (8-1-3).

"It's very difficult when we lead and then give up a goal in the last minute," Florida defenseman Joel Kiatkowski said. "It's very frustrating, we've given away points like this in about nine games."

With Jay Bouwmeester serving a penalty for slashing, Carolina pulled Gerber off the ice for an extra attacker late in the third. Brind'Amour tied the game at 3 on a rebound from the side of the net.

Horton had given Florida a 3-2 lead when he scored the only goal of the second period at 10:11. Horton took Nieuwendyk s pass just inside the Carolina zone, skated in and beat Gerber with a wrist shot between his left arm and his body.

Florida took the lead just 47 seconds into the game when Stumpel beat Gerber with a slap shot from the wing. Van Ryn's goal off a scramble in front of the net made it 2-0 at 12:34 of the first period, but Cullen cut into the lead only 19 seconds later when he beat Luongo with a wrist shot.

"It kind of got us going," said Cullen, who played with Florida in 2003-04. "They're a tough team to come back against. With Louie (Luongo) in the nets, those guys can shut you down easily."

Brind'Amour tied the game at 18:03 when he put home a rebound from the slot.

"The first 10 minutes we played really good hockey and then they came back," Jokinen said. "We weren't able to hold the lead, in my mind we gave them two points. At least we got one point."

Notes: Florida RW Greg Jacina recorded his first NHL point when he assisted on Horton's goal. ... Carolina D Glen Wesley returned after missing 10 games because of a sprained knee. ... Carolina leading scorer Eric Staal left the ice late in the second period with a minor leg injury but was back for the start of the third period. Staal was shaken up when he collided with Panthers D Sean Hill. ... The Panthers had killed 16 consecutive power plays before Brind'Amour's goal in the first period.

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