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Tampa Bay
Lightning
31-42-9
Florida
Panthers
38-35-9

25 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TBL
FLA
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Lightning-Panthers Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Lightning-Panthers Preview
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers have had a hard time scoring at BankAtlantic Center, but matchups there with the Tampa Bay Lightning always seem to provide an offensive boost.

Struggling through their worst home stretch this season, the Panthers look continue their dominance of the Lightning on Saturday night.

Florida (20-21-3) has lost four straight at home - the last three in regulation - and is 4-8-2 there after starting 5-2-0. The Panthers have scored one goal or less in each of their last four home matchups, and rank 26th in the league with 52 goals scored at home this season.

Facing Tampa Bay (16-23-5) would appear to give Florida an excellent opportunity to end its skid. The Panthers are 11-2-0 at home against the Lightning since the start of the 2003-04 season, and 25-7-2 with four ties against them there all-time.

Florida has scored four goals or more in each of its last five home games versus its Southeast Division rivals, and has scored 10 goals in two wins there against them this season. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay has allowed a league-worst 3.41 goals per game this season, and 4.14 in its last seven contests.

Florida lost two straight overall before a 3-2 shootout win over Atlanta on Thursday night. Panthers All-Star Tomas Vokoun turned away Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk in the shootout.

The Panthers will certainly take their second win in their last seven games, but would rather avoid shootouts.

"You don't want to go there," said Jokinen, referring to the extra period and shootout. "You want to win two points in regulation."

Jokinen has a 14-game point streak versus the Lightning in Florida, recording 13 goals and 16 assists in that span. He has one goal and two assists in each of the Panthers' two home games against the Lightning this season. He's Florida's leading scorer this season with 20 goals and 41 points.

Goaltender Johan Holmqvist has started for Tampa Bay in both of its games in Florida this season, allowing four goals in each contest. He is 1-2-1 with a 4.95 goals-against average in six road starts against the Panthers.

Holmqvist is likely to be back in net again after rookie Karri Ramo struggled in the Lightning's 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay is 2-9-2 after starting going 4-1-1 to start December. The Lightning have 37 points, their fewest at this point in the season since 2000-01, when they had 33.

Tampa Bay's offense struggled again Thursday after beating the New York Rangers 5-3 two days earlier. Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier, who will be a starter for the first time in three All-Star appearances, was held without a point against the Penguins to end a five-game point streak in which he had three goals and five assists.

Lecavalier had a goal and an assist to lead Tampa Bay to a 4-3 win over Florida on Nov. 5 in the teams' last meeting.

Martin St. Louis, who will also represent the Lightning in the All-Star game, was held off the scoresheet Thursday after notching four goals and five assists in a five-game point streak. He's found the back of the net in each of his last two games versus the Panthers.

Florida and Tampa Bay have split four games this season.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 25 '08 FLA 1 at TBL 3 J. Halpern
Mar 22 '08 TBL 2 at FLA 4 O. Jokinen
Feb 02 '08 FLA 3 at TBL 2 R. Zednik
Jan 12 '08 TBL 5 at FLA 3 B. Richards
Nov 07 '07 FLA 1 at TBL 3 M. St. Louis
Nov 05 '07 TBL 3 at FLA 4 D. Booth
Oct 13 '07 TBL 4 at FLA 6 J. Stumpel
Oct 10 '07 FLA 1 at TBL 2 C. Gratton
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