Cats Split Home and Home Series vs. Tampa Bay
The Panthers fell to their division rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. It was the second half of the home and home series and the road has once again troubled the Panthers. After an impressive home win over the Lightning the night before, Tampa looked like a new team. After the Lightning were 0-22 on their power play coming into tonight's game, they scored two power play goals in the first two periods. One goal came on a 5-3 where Martin St. Louis, the former Hart Trophy winner, scored his first goal of the season.
Stephen Weiss scored the only goal on the night for the Cats and accounts for both goals the Panthers have scored on the road this season. It came on a power play in the second period, with Jozef Stumpel and Mike Van Ryn picking up the assists. Goalie Ed Belfour looked a little more comfortable after his performance in Atlanta saw him on the ice for only 27 minutes. Playing a man down most the night, Belfour played well considering.
The Panthers will head to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Capitals and the youngsters Alexander (Ovechkin and Semin) at the Verizon Center on Wednesday. After playing five games in eight nights the team will get some valuable time off before heading North in another Southeast Division contest. The Panthers are clinging to the second spot in the East, just behind the Atlanta Thrashers with seven points.