Rookie Riley Nash netted his first career goal and distributed two helpers for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes, who broke a five-game losing streak to divisional foes.
Alexander Semin racked up three assists and Jiri Tlusty also scored for Carolina.
Cam Ward turned aside 22 shot to secure the victory.
The skidding Panthers, meanwhile, lost goalie Jose Theodore to an injury while falling for the ninth time in 11 games.
The netminder was helped off the ice just 2:22 into the game after making a stop. He was replaced by Scott Clemmensen, who was torched for all six goals on 33 shots.
Filip Kuba and Shawn Matthias scored for Florida.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]