The breaks are going Florida's way, and that's why the Panthers are in first place.
Those things aren't happening for Carolina, and that's why the Hurricanes changed coaches.
Kirk Muller's debut behind Carolina's bench ended in defeat Tuesday night when the Panthers beat the Hurricanes 3-1 on a goal by Shawn Matthias with 3:19 left.
Matthias added an empty-netter in the final minute and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Southeast Division-leading Panthers. Jose Theodore made 26 saves.
''If I'm (a) player with a new coach, I'm going to come out with a ton of jump, and they did,'' Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. ''That one was not our finest effort. It wasn't our worst effort. It was one of those games where you find a way and we found a way tonight.''
Florida went more than 20 minutes between shots before scoring late to snap a two-game losing streak and earn points for the fifth time in six games. It moved five points ahead of Washington, which lost 2-1 to St. Louis.