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Panthers Blank Hurricanes

MIAMI -- John Vanbiesbrouck made all the stops as the Florida Panthers stopped a franchise-worst 10-game winless streak.

"What this win gives us is hope. You don't want to leave yourself stranded, feeling that you're hopeless," Vanbiesbrouck said after making 31 saves to lead the Panthers to 3-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

"There's a lot of hockey left to played."

The Panthers, coming off an 0-5-3 road trip and an 0-5-5 stretch overall, improved their league-worst home record to 6-13-5.

Ray Sheppard, Scott Mellanby and Tom Fitzgerald scored for the Panthers, who improved to 3-0 against the Hurricanes this season. Mellanby left the game after the second period, sick with the flu.

"We know we're going to have to start winning at home, but we still relied too heavily on Johnny," Sheppard said.

The Hurricanes ended a two-game winning streak despite outshooting the Panthers 31-17, including 23-9 over the final two periods.

"We didn't make that many mistakes tonight, we really didn't," said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice. "When you're not scoring any goals and you're giving up one or two chances, we're in trouble."

Vanbiesbrouck, who blew a shutout in the final seconds of a 1-1 tie against San Jose on Saturday, recorded his second shutout of the season and 27th of his career.

"A shutout is a team thing, you need to get lucky here and there," Vanbiesbrouck said. "Ray's first goal was a great faceoff play and that let us play the game we wanted to play."

Sheppard gave Florida 1-0 lead at 9:22 of the first period shortly after a faceoff, scoring after Mellanby's pass deflected over to him in the slot.

With Florida on a power play, Ray Whitney set up Mellanby in front and his shot caromed off McLean's skate and into the net 2:07 later. Vanbiesbrouck assisted on the goal.

Fitzgerald added a shorthanded goal 29 seconds into the third period for the final margin. Bill Lindsay assisted on Florida's 10th shorthanded goal of the season, one off the league lead held by Calgary.

Goaltender Kirk McLean is 3-2-0 since coming to Carolina in a trade from Vancouver on Jan. 3.

The Hurricanes had not been shut out since March 25, 1997, a 4-0 loss to Colorado when they were playing as the Hartford Whalers.

"He obviously played well -- he got a shutout," Carolina's Steve Chiasson said of Vanbiesbrouck. "But I'm sick of saying we always play against great goaltenders."

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