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Hurricanes get to seventh place in Eastern Conference playoff

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RALEIGH (AP) -- John Grahame has been forced into a starting role for the Carolina Hurricanes in the middle of a playoff race. It appears he's up for it.

Grahame made 26 saves to help lead the Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night and into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. He's playing after a knee injury sidelined starter Cam Ward.

Grahame stopped all 10 shots he faced in the third period to hold up the power-play goal by Scott Walker with 15 seconds left in the second period that broke a 1-1 tie.

Grahame's best saves came during a Panthers' power-play in the second period. He stopped Olli Jokinen, Florida's leading scorer, on two attempts from the slot. One stop was with his shoulder.

The loss left Florida winless in its last 11 games at the RBC Center, dating to December 6th, 2002.

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