Panthers Earn Gutsy Victory
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com
|Tampa Bay Lightning's Nick Tarnasky, left, and Florida Panthers' Bryan Allen, right, fight during first period action of their NHL hockey game, Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)
A little blood and four goals.
It worked Monday evening for the Panthers.
With only 1:19 remaining in regulation, David Booth
redirected a shot from the point by Ruslan Salei past Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist to give the Panthers a 4-3 victory at BankAtlantic Center.
The win pushed the Panthers into eighth place in the Eastern Conference and just a point out of fifth place as they won for the third time in their last four games.
“I thought we showed some good character,” said GM and coach Jacques Martin.
“A big two points,” said Olli Jokinen, who had a goal and two assists.
“We had (two) guys get stitches,” said Booth, referring to Ville Peltonen and Bryan Allen
who suffered cuts to their face. “This was a great team effort.”
Despite trailing 1-0 after a power play goal by the Lightning’s Martin St. Louis, the Panthers rallied in the first period with power play goals by Jokinen (his league-leading seventh) and Ville Peltonen to make it 2-1.
After the Lightning tied the game at 10:08 of the second period, Steve Montador gave the Panthers back the lead just 18 seconds later when he wristed a shot over Holmqvist’s glove to make it 3-2.
After the Panthers failed to score in the second period on a five minute power play, the relentless Lightning tied the game at 3:40 of the third period on a goal by Michel Ouellet. But with time running out in regulation, Jokinen sent the puck back to the point to Salei, who leaned into a shot that Booth, standing in front of Holmqvist, redirected into the Lightning goal.
Booth’s goal sent the Panthers home with two points and the Lightning falling to 0-7 on the road.
“It was definitely a big two points,” Jokinen said. “There were some positive things we did, and there’s some areas we’ll have to pay attention to (Tuesday) in practice. The thing is we can’t trade chances with those guys. If we keep trading chances with them, it’s going to be a long, long night. I think in the third period we gave them a little too much respect.”
said these are the games the Panthers must win.
“We lost in the third period in Toronto and Nashville, so that’s four points,” Dvorak said. “We lost in the third period in two other games. That’s another four points. That’s eight points. These games, against (Southeast Division) teams, we need to win. This is the way to create momentum.”
The Panthers will attempt to continue that momentum Wednesday when they travel to Tampa to once again play these Lightning.
|Three star selections