The Panthers said the game was a sellout — no small feat for hockey in South Florida, especially since the schedule wasn’t released until a week before the start to the shortened season — and team president Michael Yormark said the team’s business side handled hockey’s work stoppage well.
‘‘Coming out of the playoffs, after losing Game 7, granted we were all disappointed that we didn’t get to the second round,’’ Yormark said. ‘‘But when we had time to reflect, we said, ‘You know what, we took a big step forward.'’’
With most of last season’s roster back — and the additions of players such as Huberdeau and Kovalev — the Panthers are hoping last season serves as just the start of a hockey renaissance in South Florida.
‘‘A real team effort for us tonight,’’ Dineen said. ‘‘Good, satisfying win.’’
NOTES: It was Florida’s 33rd straight win when scoring five goals in regulation, a streak that began in January 2009. ... Ward has started against Florida 28 times, and allowed at least four goals in eight of those games. ... Florida has won six of its past seven matchups with Carolina, a stretch that includes an overtime and a shootout victory. ... Dineen is a former Carolina player; Muller is a former Florida player.
(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Panthers 5, Hurricanes 1. Corrects to Hurricanes in 1st paragraph. With AP Photos.)