RALEIGH, N.C. (CBSMiami.com) – The Florida Panthers are on fire as the calendar turns to December. The Cats are in first place in the Southeast Division and are pulling away after a Tuesday night victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tomas Fleischmann had one goal and Shawn Matthias scored the go-ahead goal and an empty net goal to seal a 3-1 victory over the Canes. Panthers goalie Jose Theodore stopped 26 of 27 shots in the victorty Tuesday night.

It took Florida quite a while to get into scoring in the game. At one point, the Panthers went more than 20 minutes between shots before scoring two goals late in the third period to seal the win.

Matthias’ winner came after Carolina defenseman Tomas Kaberle attempted to send the puck around the boards and out of the zone. Matthias held it in, then skated near the right post, took a pass from Tomas Kopecky and stuffed the puck past Ward.

The Panthers matched a season-low with just two shots on goal in the first period. It’s also the fewest shots allowed on goal in a period this season for Carolina.


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