Theodore made seven saves in the third period, allowing Shawn Matthias' late score to hold up as the game-winner.
Matthias tipped in a long shot by Tomas Kopecky to provide the go-ahead tally with less than 4 minutes left in the final period and later added an empty-netter for the first-place Panthers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Muller's first game as an NHL head coach saw the slumping Hurricanes lose for the 11th time in 14 contests.
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