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03/03/2013 10:17 PM EST
Hurricanes beat Panthers, 3-2, 2nd straight night
CAROLINA 3, FLORIDA 2

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Carolina goalie Dan Ellis didn't start
Sunday against Florida because he wasn't feeling well. He ended
up playing, and didn't feel any better after the game despite
helping the Hurricane earn a 3-2 victory over the Panthers.



Ellis made 19 saves for Carolina after replacing Cam Ward with
11:04 left in the second. Ward stopped all 15 shots he faced
before leaving the game with what appeared to be a leg injury.



"Just wasn't feeling well. Some type of flu or whatever it was,
but in the end that ended up costing us our goalie," Ellis said.
"It kind of sucks to lose such a good goaltender, such a big
piece to our team, and such a good person. But at least we got
the win."



Initially, Ward was knocked down when Hurricanes defenseman Joe
Corvo slid into him and dislodged the net after fighting off
Florida's Jack Skille. After the next faceoff, Ward went down
and limped off the ice. The extent of his injury wasn't known
immediately after the game.



"He'll probably get evaluated tomorrow ... more results,"
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "Hopefully, he gets back soon
because he was playing good hockey."



Ellis took some responsibility for what happened.



"If I maybe would have just found a way to play through it,
maybe it could have prevented an accident like that," he said.



Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin, and Justin Faulk scored goals,
giving the Hurricanes their second victory over the Panthers in
as many nights.



"It was a big weekend. A lot of guys chipped in to help us win
this one," Staal said.



Jonathan Huberdeau scored two goals for Florida. Scott
Clemmensen stopped 21 shots for the Panthers.



The Hurricanes won for the fourth time in five games. Florida
has lost 10 of its last 12 games.



"We played a good first 18 minutes and I don't think we finished
it off," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "Obviously, it's not
enough right now and I don't think it's a boost of confidence
that nothing but a good solid win is going to provide. We're
obviously still in search of that."



Trailing 3-1, Huberdeau's second goal came at 19:05 of the
third. He took a cross-ice pass from Peter Mueller and beat
Ellis for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.



Carolina went ahead 3-0 on Staal's goal at 6:10 of the second.
Jeff Skinner brought the puck from behind the net and passed to
Staal in front. His shot trickled under Clemmensen's pad and
into the net.



The Panthers made it 3-1 when Mueller made a nice cross-ice pass
to Huberdeau as he skated in on Ellis. His shot beat Ellis on
the stick side at 16:05 of the second.



The Hurricanes scored a pair of goals in the last two minutes of
the first period to build a 2-0 lead.



Faulk gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead when he rifled a shot from
above the right circle that hit the far post and went in at
18:08. Semin's goal, a wrist shot from in front, came exactly
one minute later.



For the Panthers, the frustration of not winning is starting to
wear on the team.



"We've got to get our job done and we're not getting it done,"
Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell said. "It's not acceptable.
This is not going to be a fun place to be if you're not
winning."



Florida goaltender coach Robb Tallas suited-up for Sunday's game
and was on the bench for most of the first period as the backup
goaltender. Jacob Markstrom was recalled from San Antonio in the
AHL for Sunday's game, but his gear was late in arriving so
Tallas, 39, was signed to a one-day contact in case Markstrom
couldn't play. Markstrom replaced Tallas on the bench with 3:44
left in the first.



Tallas played in the NHL for 13 years and appeared in 99 NHL
games with the Boston Bruins (1995-2000) and the Chicago
Blackhawks (2000-01).



NOTES: Panthers D Nolan Yonkman was recalled from San Antonio.
In addition, G Jose Theodore (lower body) and D Dmitry Kulikov
(upper body) have been placed on injured reserve after being
hurt in Saturday's game at Carolina. ... R Scottie Upshall also
was injured in Saturday's game (lower body) and was scratched
from Sunday's game. ... Hurricanes C Tim Brent missed Sunday's
game with a lower-body injury. ... Winnipeg Jets coach Claude
Noel was in the Panthers press box for Sunday's game. The Jets,
idle Sunday, play their next three games in Florida, one at
Tampa Bay and two against the Panthers.

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