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Panthers hand Hurricanes 10th consecutive loss, 3-0

by John Kreiser /

The reeling Carolina Hurricanes threw everything they had at Tomas Vokoun in the first period. It still wasn't enough.

Vokoun made 21 of his 32 saves in the first period for his second consecutive shutout and Florida scored three times in the third period as the Panthers beat Carolina 3-0 on Wednesday night to extend the Hurricanes' losing streak to 10 games.

"Tomas allowed us to survive the first period," Florida coach Pete DeBoer said. "It wasn't exactly the way we drew it up. We knew we were facing a desperate team. Carolina was very good right off the bat."

It was sweet revenge for Vokoun, who allowed five goals on 26 shots before being pulled in a 7-2 loss at Carolina on Oct. 9 -- the last time the Hurricanes won a game.

This time, he survived the early barrage and gave his team a chance to win.

"We were a little bit sluggish out of the gate but we survived it and took the game over from the second period and I think we outplayed them," said Vokoun, who also shut out St. Louis 4-0 on Saturday.

Steve Reinprecht broke a scoreless tie at 5:09 of the third period and also had an assist.Cory Stillman added a late power-play goal and an assist, and defensemanBryan Allen hit the empty net with 2:01 left.

Cam Ward stopped 22 shots for Carolina, now 0-6-2 on the road and searching for answers.

"I thought we played well," Ward said. "Obviously, it's no secret we're having a tough time. It's not easy when you're on a losing streak, but you've got to take the positives away from tonight."

The Panthers have won three straight after opening 2-7-1.

"I'm glad we're on the other end of it now," DeBoer said. "They're a better team than their record indicates, and they're playing better than their record indicates. We found a way to get a win tonight. It wasn't picture perfect, but it was a good two points."

Carolina, 0-7-3 during its losing streak, was shut out for the third time this season -- two more times than they were blanked all last season. The Hurricanes have scored two goals or less in 11 of their 14 games.

"We looked so much more like ourselves through a big part of that game," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "It's just got to find its way to the back of the net. We keep doing it the way we did it tonight, it will."

Reinprecht scored his ninth goal of the season when Stillman's wrist shot bounced off his leg and through Ward's pads. Stillman made it 2-0 at 13:46 when he tipped in Bryan McCabe's slap shot from the point.

"We've been crashing the net, getting pucks there, things have been bouncing around and getting lucky," said Reinprecht, whose goals have all come in Florida's last eight games. "When you go to the net, sometimes you get bounces."

Carolina dominated the first period, outshooting Florida 21-4. It was the Hurricanes' most shots in any period this season. The Hurricanes had three power plays in less than eight minutes but still couldn't score.

"We played a very, very good game," Maurice said. "We didn't win, so we don't get the good feeling we deserved, but we did so many good things in that game."

The last 40 minutes belonged to the Panthers, who limited Carolina to 11 shots and had had six power plays in the second and third periods.

"I don't think we took a step back," Maurice said. "I think we just had to kill too many."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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