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Florida
Panthers
28-35-15-4
Tampa Bay
Lightning
46-22-8-6
OT
32 SOG
42 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
FLA
TBL
game preview

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Wednesday, 12.31.2003 / 3:00 PM

Associated Press

Panthers-Lightning Preview

GAME: Florida Panthers (12-16-8-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (15-13-5-1).

TIME: Wednesday, 3 p.m. EST.

The Florida Panthers will try to snap a six-game road winless streak when they visit the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Florida squandered a two-goal, third-period lead in Monday's 4-4 tie with the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite the late meltdown, Panthers coach and general manager Rick Dudley was not overly upset, especially since three of Toronto's goals were swatted in the air, making it nearly impossible for goaltender Roberto Luongo to stop them.

"I'm not going to be embarrassed about a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs right now," Dudley said. "They had a good third period. They're a hell of a team."

Luongo, who made 34 saves, was miffed by the Maple Leafs' good fortune around the net.

"I've never seen anything like that," he said. "I think they got lucky."

Florida is 0-3-2-1 in its last six road games dating to a 3-2 win at Washington on Nov. 22.

Frustration has also set in for the Lightning, who started the season as one of the NHL's hottest teams, but have managed just four wins in their last 18 games.

Tampa Bay went 0-for-7 on the power play en route to being shut out for the sixth time this season in Monday's 2-0 home loss to Anaheim. Nikolai Khabibulin made 23 saves for the Lightning, but fell to 1-6-1 in his last eight decisions.

"Obviously we're frustrated and disappointed," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It's something we can't dwell on. We have to try and get better."

Monday marked Tampa Bay center Dave Andreychuk's 1,549th career game, tying him for seventh place on the all-time NHL list with Alex Delvecchio.

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 01 '04FLA 3 at TBL 4M. St. Louis
Mar 06 '04TBL 5 at FLA 3D. Boyle
Feb 14 '04FLA 2 at TBL 3M. St. Louis
Jan 17 '04TBL 1 at FLA 2O. Jokinen
Dec 31 '03FLA 2 at TBL 2 - OTM. Van Ryn
Nov 11 '03TBL 0 at FLA 4N. Hagman
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