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Panthers 4 Hurricanes 3

NHL.com @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Panthers are feeling better about their chances to make the playoffs.

Joel Kwiatkowski scored in overtime to give the Panthers a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Kwiatkowski was in front of the crease when he took a pass from Rostislav Olesz from the right circle and poked in the puck just 1:14 into the extra period.

"I tried to sneak in front of (Eric) Staal and I got a step on him and yelled for Olesz to pass me the puck," Kwiatkowski said. "He put it perfectly on my stick and I just redirected it in."

Olli Jokinen, Jon Sim and Jozef Stumpel also scored for Florida and Roberto Luongo had 39 saves. It was the third straight win for the Panthers and the second in as many nights against Carolina. The Panthers defeated Ottawa on Thursday and have scored 15 goals in the three wins. They are nine points out of the last playoff spot.

"The last three games were against the two best teams in the conference," Luongo said. "There is still 18 games left and the guys are not quitting."

Doug Weight, Matt Cullen and Kevyn Adams scored for Carolina. Martin Gerber stopped 26 shots. The Hurricanes led 3-1 after Adams goal at 1:09 of the third.

"He (Kwiatkowski) just hammered it in the middle," Gerber said. "We thought we scored the game winner (on Adams goal.) It's very disappointing."

The Panthers tied it at 3 in the third. Jokinen won a faceoff and passed to Stumpel, who shot the puck past Gerber's glove from the point at 5:15.

Carolina had a chance to go in front but Luongo stopped Ray Whitney's breakaway attempt at 7:03.

Carolina stretched its lead to 3-1 in the third when Adams got a pass from Whitney and beat Luongo before he fell. The Panthers closed the gap to 3-2 just 35 seconds later when Jon Sim punched it in from the right circle.

"It's absolutely disappointing coming in here and only getting one point out of four," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "It was a couple of breakdowns that cost us."

The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead on Cullen's power-play goal at 11:43 in the second. Bret Hedican's shot was blocked by Luongo but Cullen was in front for the rebound.

Jokinen tied it at 1 in the second with his third goal and fourth point in two games since signing a contract extension Thursday.

"We had a poor first period but we regrouped and played the way we have the last two or three games," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "It speaks about the character of this team."

Notes: Jokinen has 19 points in his last 14 games. ... Carolina's Glen Wesley got hit with the puck in the leg and was down on the ice for several minutes in the first period but returned to the game. ...The Panthers and Hurricanes played back-to-back games in the same arena for the first time.

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