SUNRISE, Fla., March 3 (UPI) -- Jordan Staal's goal in the second period proved decisive Sunday and Carolina completed a home-and-home sweep of Florida with a 3-2 victory.
Alexander Semin and Justin Faulk also found the net for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes, who took a third consecutive win.
Carolina's fourth triumph in five contests overall came with a price, however, as goalie Cam Ward left the game with an apparent lower-body injury in the second period.
He turned aside all 15 shots he faced before exiting.
Dan Ellis, who was battling illness, relieved and let in two goals on 21 shots the rest of the way.
Jonathan Huberdeau netted a pair of goals for the Panthers, who dropped their third straight.
Scott Clemmensen made 21 saves in the loss.