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Panthers Pounce to 8-2 Victory Over Lightning

Tuesday, 02.28.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Panthers Pounce to 8-2 Victory Over Lightning

Jokinen & Nieuwendyk Tally Three Points Each

The Florida Panthers started their drive for the postseason in grand fashion.

Chris Gratton, Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk each had two goals to help the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-2 on Tuesday night.

Florida is eight points behind eighth-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference.

"It was amazing," Jokinen said. "Everything went our way, but I think the main thing was the focus right there when the puck dropped, and we didn't change anything."

Nieuwendyk and Jokinen also had an assist for three-point games. Martin Gelinas and Joel Kwiatkowski had the other Florida goals, while Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.

Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Craig scored for Tampa Bay. John Grahame was pulled at 3:35 of the second after allowing four goals on 13 shots.

"It happens," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We're mature enough to handle to that. Just look to the next game."

Tampa Bay went 11-3-1 over its last 15 games before the Olympic break. Florida was 6-6-3 over the same stretch.

"We needed to get off to a good start, and that's as good as it gets," Nieuwendyk said. "But just like we put the losses behind us, we've got to put this behind us too. We've got to get ready for a tough game against Montreal (on Thursday)."

Jokinen put the Panthers ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal 26 seconds into the game. He has five goals and seven points in four games against the Lightning this season.

Tampa Bay, aided by three straight power plays, had 10 of the next 11 shots. Luongo made consecutive in-close saves on Craig.

The Panthers went up 2-0 when Gratton redirected Mike Van Ryn's shot on the power play at 13:47. Gratton has six goals and 12 points during a five-game point streak.

Florida had only one shot during a 5-on-3 power play that ended a minute into the second. The Panthers, however, took a 4-0 lead on goals 28 seconds apart by Gelinas (3:17) and Nieuwendyk (3:45).

Gratton scored his second power-play goal of the game at 12:23. Nieuwendyk added his second goal 34 seconds later before Jokinen scored again to make it 7-0 at 14:48.

"It was nice to get good support," Luongo said. "You know, 7-0 in the second period. I had to check the clock to make sure it was right."

Nieuwendyk has 550 goals, including 17 this season.

Lecavalier had a power-play goal at 5:57 of the third. After Kwiatkowski scored at 15:59, Criag ended the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:32 left.

"We were just awful," Tampa Bay's Brad Richards said.

Notes: Gratton and Tampa Bay's Evgeny Artyukhin both received five-minute penalties following a fight midway through the third. ... Tampa Bay's Darryl Sydor became the 205th player and 73rd defenseman to play in 1,000 NHL games. ... Luongo has played in 28 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 10. ... Richards had an assist, extending his point streak to seven games. He has 10 assists and 13 points during the span.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09
 
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