Tlusty, Khudobin lead Hurricanes to 3-0 shutout over Panthers

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

SUNRISE, FLA. – Jiri Tlusty netted two goals while goaltender Anton Khudobin made 35 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes earned a 3-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Tlusty tallied his first goal of the game at 9:09 of the first period.

Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo who hadn’t faced the Hurricanes in more than five years was involved in a crease collision after Hurricanes forward Radek Dvorak was shoved into him.

Dvorak was assessed a charging penalty and additionally received a game misconduct for the infraction that subsequently resulted in Luongo not returning to play following the end of the first period.

Carolina was forced to kill off Dvorak’s five-minute major which it did successfully to escape the period leading 1-0.

“We kinda’ showed up for the first period this time which is better than we did the last game at home,” Tlusty said referring to his team’s 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

“We fell down 4-0 and that’s always hard to come back (from). Tonight we scored the first goal which is always better than being one down.”

Tlusty added his second of the game at the 2:30 mark of the next period to extend the Hurricanes lead to 2-0.

Just over three minutes later, Jeff Skinner scored his 28th goal of the season on a pass from Patrick Dwyer to finalize the game’s scoring while Khudobin’s exceptional play for the remainder of the game allowed him to post his third career shutout and first with the Hurricanes.

“It’s always good when you didn’t get scored on in a game, obviously,” Khudobin said.

“The most important (thing) is we just got the W.”

Following the game, Carolina returned home and would take Friday off to get refreshed before preparing to host the Columbus Blue Jackets at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Even with the NHL playoffs in the far distance, Tlusty pointed out that his team was and would be working to play out the season with the type of result they got against the Panthers.

“I think everyone came ready and now we just want to play and get as many wins as we can and show the character we have in the dressing room.”