RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves for his third career shutout, all in his last 12 games, and Vincent Trocheck scored another goal against his former team as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 3-0 on Thursday night.
Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas also scored for Carolina, which swept a two-game set from the Panthers to move ahead of Florida in the closely contested Central Division.
Chris Driedger made 19 saves for the Panthers, who were shut out for the third time this season.
Aho scored on a first-period power play just 7 seconds after Matt Kiersted’s hooking penalty. Trocheck sent a pass through the slot and Aho launched a shot without resistance.
Trocheck’s goal came in the second period when the puck was airborne above Driedger and the Panthers couldn’t get control of it before it trickled into the net.
Trocheck, traded from the Panthers less than 15 months ago, has scored one goal in each of Carolina’s six games against Florida this season.
Necas had an empty-net goal.
Aho has become a consistent scorer for the Hurricanes. His goal pushed him to 300 career points in 349 career games.
Since the franchise relocated from Connecticut almost 25 years ago, only two Carolina players – former forwards Ray Whitney and Cory Stillman – have more points per game than Aho.
IN THE MARKET
The Panthers entered the trade market earlier Thursday, acquiring defenseman Lucas Carlsson and forward Lucas Wallmark from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Wallmark made his NHL debut as a Carolina player. Last season, he played for the Panthers after a trade from the Hurricanes.
The Panthers sent forward Brett Connolly and defenseman Riley Stillman to Chicago along with restricted free-agent rights to forward Henrik Borgstrom and a 2021 seventh-ranked draft pick.
Stillman had played in the past seven games for the Panthers. Connolly had been a scratch for the last three games while he was with the organization.
The three times the Panthers have been blanked this season, the final score has been 3-0 in each case.
Panthers: Travel to Dallas for games Saturday and Tuesday.
Hurricanes: Play on Saturday and Monday at home vs. Detroit.
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