SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jiri Tlusty scored twice and Anton Khudobin stopped 35 shots to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Khudobin recorded his first shutout this season and the third of his career. His last shutout was March 31, 2013, at Buffalo. Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes.
Dan Ellis started the second period in relief of Roberto Luongo and made 18 saves. Luongo left the game after the first period with an upper body injury sustained in a collision with Carolina’s Radek Dvorak. The Panthers described it as a precautionary measure. Luongo stopped 11 of 12 shots.
Dvorak was assessed a game misconduct at 12:48 of the first when he crashed into Luongo and sent him into the net, knocking it off its moorings. Florida’s Erik Gudbranson was assessed a roughing penalty for engaging Dvorak in retaliation.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to take advantage of the goalie change. Tlusty scored his second goal after he grabbed a loose puck to the left of the net. Ellis fell down in the crease and wasn’t able to reach across to block the shot from the left side. Tlusty found the net at 2:30 of the second for his third two-goal game of the season and a 2-0 lead.
The Hurricanes stretched their advantage to 3-0 on Skinner’s goal. He took a pass from behind the net and his shot from the right side beat Ellis on the stick side at 5:46 of the second.
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead on Tlusty’s first goal 9:09 into the first period. Eric Staal grabbed a loose puck along the left boards and brought it toward the net. He passed to Tlusty low in the right circle. Tlusty was able to work the puck and get Luongo out of position and score on a wrist shot.
NOTES: Gudbranson returned to the lineup after missing the past nine games with a knee injury. … The Hurricanes won all three games against the Panthers this season. . Khudobin has started five of the past six games for the Hurricanes.
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