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Panthers 5, Hurricanes 0 @NHLdotcom

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Tomas Vokoun insists it's still too early for the Florida Panthers to get caught up in the playoff chase. If he keeps playing like this, that might not be the case for much longer.

Vokoun made 42 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and the Panthers had no trouble with one of the teams pursuing them in the race to make the Eastern Conference playoffs, routing the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0 on Thursday night.

"You shouldn't be doing (scoreboard watching) too much," Vokoun said. "It's really tight, and things can change in two days, and you're looking from the outside."

Anthony Stewart and Gregory Campbell scored 12 seconds apart in the second period. Nathan Horton had a goal and an assist, and Michael Frolik and Richard Zednik also scored. The Panthers scored all five goals in the first 33 1/2 minutes.

"I much prefer these than the dramatic ones," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought our goaltender was our best player tonight."

Florida, 6-2 since the All-Star break, is tied for eighth place in the East with Buffalo, three points ahead of Carolina and Pittsburgh.

Vokoun finished with the 29th shutout of his decade-long career and the first since Dec. 23 against Nashville. He became the first goalie to shut out Carolina this season.

Carolina goalie Cam Ward stopped just nine of the 13 shots he faced before he was pulled midway through the second for Michael Leighton, who made nine saves and allowed Florida's fifth goal.

Neither goalie had any answers for a Florida offense that entered averaging 3.63 goals in the new year and was coming off a 5-4 overtime victory over Toronto in which it erased a three-goal deficit in the third period.

That quick-strike offense helped the Panthers put this one away with the second-period flurry led by role players Stewart and Campbell.

"We still thought we were fine after the first period," Carolina forward Ray Whitney said. "Those two quick ones in the second obviously killed us. From then, confidence kind of slips a little bit and it just snowballs."

At Detroit, Jiri Hudler and Kris Draper scored in a 50-second span of the second period, and Chris Osgood made 21 saves in Detroit's sixth straight victory.

Mikael Samuelsson and Ville Leino also scored, and Marian Hossa had two assists. Brent Burns and Mikko Koivu scored for Minnesota, and Josh Harding made 39 saves.

At Los Angeles, Miikka Kiprusoff made 36 saves for his 30th NHL shutout, and Michael Cammalleri scored his team-leading 29th goal on a first-period power play for Calgary.

Kiprusoff has four shutouts this season.

Rene Bourque added an empty-net goal.

At Nashville, Tenn., Jason Arnott tied it for the Predators with 3 seconds left in regulation, and Steve Sullivan scored the only goal in the shootout.

Sullivan, playing in his 14th game of the season after nearly a two-year layoff because of a back injury, beat Chris Mason with a wrist shot. Nashville's Pekka Rinne stopped Brad Boyes, Andy McDonald and T.J. Oshie in the shootout.

Defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein added goals for Nashville. David Backes, David Perron and Brad Winchester scored in regulation for St. Louis.

At Philadelphia, Dany Heatley scored two goals, and Brian Elliott made 34 saves to help Ottawa win its third straight game, the Senators' longest run of the season.

Jason Spezza, Nick Foligno and Antoine Vermette also scored for Ottawa. Darroll Powe and Mike Richards scored for Philadelphia.

At Tampa, Fla., Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier scored third-period goals for the Lightning, and Ryan Malone scored twice in a 54-second span in the first.

Mark Recchi and Martin St. Louis also scored in the opening period to help Tampa Bay take a 4-1 lead. Lee Stempniak scored twice for Toronto, and Niklas Hagman and Nikolai Kulemin added goals.

At Glendale, Ariz., Henrik Sedin capped a three-goal comeback with a power-play goal midway through the third period in Vancouver's fourth straight win.

Down 3-1 early in the third, the Canucks tied it on goals by Pavol Demitra and Alexander Edler. Mattias Ohlund also scored for Vancouver. Enver Lisin, Steven Reinprecht and Derek Morris scored for Phoenix.

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