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Panthers, Lightning set for showdown in Tampa Bay

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Panthers, Lightning set for showdown in Tampa Bay
Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
PANTHERS (18-20-8) at LIGHTNING (18-17-10)

Last 10: Florida 3-6-1; Tampa Bay 6-3-1.

Season Series: This is just the second of six meetings between the Southeast Division rivals. Tampa Bay earned a 3-2 victory against Florida at the St. Pete Times Forum on Oct. 12. Ryan Malone scored the game-winning goal.

Big Story: The interstate rivals seem to be headed in opposite directions. While Florida managed to pick up a point on Wednesday night, it has just three wins in its last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Lightning have tallied points seven times in that same span.

Team Scope:

Panthers: A three-goal lead wasn't enough for Florida on Wednesday, as the Washington Capitals rallied for a 5-4 shootout victory at the BankAtlantic Center. Florida chased goalie Michal Neuvirth and held a 4-1 edge midway through the second, but it was enough to prevent Florida from losing to the Caps for a third straight time.

''We have to learn how to win games,'' Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. ''We do a lot of things right on a lot of nights, but this is a game that is about wins and losses and we aren't good at closing teams out or doing what it takes to finish teams off.''

Lightning: Tampa Bay didn't have much of a problem against Washington on Tuesday night, as Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist and Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists in a 7-4 win at the St. Pete Times Forum. Just like the Panthers, the Lightning chased Neuvirth, scoring four times on 15 shots.

"It was definitely exciting for everyone who got a chance to see that. Lots of goals, lots of feistiness, lots of hits and fights … it was a good effort for us tonight," Stamkos said. "We'll take the win, especially against those guys."

Who's Hot: Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist on Wednesday. He now has 19 tallies and 22 assists this season. … St. Louis has notched at least a point in 11 consecutive games for the Lightning.

Injury Report: Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (knee) and forward David Booth (concussion) are expected to return later this month, while Kenndal McArdle (shoulder) is likely to miss another 2-3 weeks. … Lightning forward Todd Fedoruk (lower body) is expected to miss two weeks, while Matt Smaby (upper body) is out indefinitely.

Stat Pack: Stamkos, a second-year pro, has already passed his season output from last season with 25 goals to lead the team. He had 23 as a rookie in 2008-09. The No. 1 pick from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft also has 22 assists through 45 games.

Puck Drop: "Every game is important for us now. The Eastern Conference is so tight that we can't afford to lose lots of games, and especially against this team, it's a big confidence booster." -- Steven Stamkos after Tuesday's 7-4 win against Washington

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 11 '10 TBL 3 at FLA 1 V. Lecavalier
Apr 10 '10 FLA 3 at TBL 4 - SO S. Stamkos
Mar 21 '10 TBL 2 at FLA 5 C. Stillman
Jan 16 '10 TBL 2 at FLA 5 B. Allen
Jan 14 '10 FLA 3 at TBL 2 R. Olesz
Oct 12 '09 FLA 2 at TBL 3 R. Malone
N. Horton47162945+33063
S. Weiss47192342-51871
S. Reinprecht47131932+101021
M. Frolik47131629+03941
B. McCabe4771724+35531
R. Olesz46111223-41823
R. Dvorak4191120+2811
C. Stillman2771118+11212
D. Seidenberg4711718+23100
D. Moore368715-52420
J. Leopold476915-62000
K. Ballard4731013-34010
D. Kulikov363912-62210
B. Allen43268+05800
G. Campbell37178-53600
K. Kreps41167-81200
S. Matthias21325-1401
V. Oreskovich36235-61500
V. Koistinen17134+1800
M. Repik9213+0600
D. Booth9213-51000
K. McArdle16022-52900
J. Taffe16011+1400
J. Garrison14000-1200
S. MacIntyre13000-21900
M. Duco9000-35000
N. Tarnasky6000+0000
K. Ellerby1000-1000
T. Vokoun3714-14-89412432.58.924
S. Clemmensen125-5-0363223.53.888
A. Salak20-1-06405.37.850
M. St. Louis46124052-4652
S. Stamkos46252247-32093
V. Lecavalier46113243-13610
R. Malone46191938+64667
A. Tanguay4561925+22022
S. Downie44101222+611750
K. Foster3671219-22031
J. Halpern399514-71421
V. Hedman4441014-34200
M. Ohlund3901010-23600
A. Meszaros45358-112410
J. Wright45235-71800
B. Bochenski6145+0010
Z. Konopka45224-415801
S. Veilleux45224-103300
D. Hale34044+02300
P. Szczechura30213-6400
T. Fedoruk24213-71900
M. Lundin13112+2400
P. Ranger8112-2600
M. Walker37022+34700
L. Krajicek23011-42100
D. Miller14000-3200
B. Jones14000-51000
M. Smaby13000+01000
R. Craig3000+0500
M. Smith2810-11-6798272.97.904
A. Niittymaki218-7-4516132.55.917