Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun simply wouldn’t let the Carolina Hurricanes end their losing streak.
Vokoun made 32 saves, including 21 in the first period, for his second straight shutout and the Panthers extended Carolina’s winless streak to 10 games with a 3-0 victory Wednesday night.
“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.”
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Vokoun, who beat St. Louis 4-0 on Saturday, got a measure of revenge against the Hurricanes. On Oct. 9 in a 7-2 loss at Carolina, he was pulled early in the third period after giving up five goals on 26 shots.
That was the last time the Hurricanes won a game.
“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,” Vokoun said.
Steven Reinprecht broke a scoreless tie at 5:09 of the third period and also had an assist. Cory Stillman added a power-play goal and an assist, and defenseman Bryan Allen scored an empty-net goal with 2:01 left.
Cam Ward stopped 22 shots for Carolina, 0-6-2 in the road.
“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. The Hurricanes have scored two goals or less in 11 of their 14 games.
“We looked so much more like our selves 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 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.
Carolina had three power plays in a span of 7:56 in the period, but failed to score. The Hurricanes‘ best chance came when Sergei Samsonov hit the right post with a shot from close range.
“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.”
Florida controlled play in the second period, thanks in part to four Carolina penalties in a span of 8:55. Stephen Weiss hit the post on a backhand off a rebound.
In all, Florida 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.”
NOTES: Carolina C Eric Staal sat out the game because of an upper- body injury, snapping his streak of consecutive games at 349. It was the second-longest active streak in the NHL behind Calgary D Jay Bouwmeester‘s 354-game run. … Carolina’s previous high for shots in a period this season was 20 in the second period Saturday in a 5-1 loss at Philadelphia. … Carolina has seven points through 14 games, matching the worst start in franchise history, set in 1992-93 and 1993-94. … Florida recalled C Jeff Taffe from Rochester of the AHL.