Khudobin solid in net as Hurricanes beat Panthers
Raleigh, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Anton Khudobin stopped 34 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes took a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Andrej Sekera, Jiri Tlusty, Riley Nash, Alexander Semin and Brett Bellemore all scored for the Hurricanes, who have won six of eight.
"To be successful in the NHL you have to have all four lines going," said Nash. "If you look at the past winners they all had depth and they all got scoring from everyone and I think we've been getting good stuff from a lot of guys lately."
Nick Bjugstad scored the only goal of the game for the Panthers, who go into the Olympic break having dropped five of six.
Tim Thomas was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 14 shots. Scott Clemmensen stopped 16-of-17 shots in relief.
"I think pride is the most important factor in whatever you do and if you don't feel that there's something missing, there's something wrong," said Florida head coach Peter Horachek.
Carolina jumped on top at 9:17 of the first period as Tuomo Ruutu sent a pass from the right boards to the slot where Nash gathered the disc and ripped it past the glove of Thomas.
Just 1:27 later it was a 2-0 game as a scrum in front saw a desperate clear by Florida picked up by Semin, who spun around in the slot and shot it home for his 14th of the season.
The Panthers got one back at 15:30 of the first after Dylan Olsen's shot from the right point was stopped and Bjugstad was able to shoot home the rebound.
However, the Hurricanes answered three minutes later as Bellemore's big blast from the right circle found the back of the net for a 3-1 advantage.
Tlusty's goal at 4:36 of the second period chased Thomas from the net and gave Carolina a 4-1 advantage.
Sekera scored on a big blast from the left point while on the power play at 12:48 of the third to wrap up the scoring in the game.
Carolina hosts Montreal on Saturday for its final game before the break ... Florida hosts Washington when it resumes play on Feb. 27 ... Carolina has won both meetings with Florida this season ... The Hurricanes were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Panthers went 0-for-4.
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