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Florida
Panthers
37-34-11
Tampa Bay
Lightning
43-33-6

22 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
FLA
TBL
game recap

Panthers 8, Lightning 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers 8, Lightning 2
Florida Panthers 8, Tampa Bay Lightning 2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Panthers started their drive for the postseason in grand fashion.

Chris Gratton, Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk each had two goals to help the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-2 on Tuesday night.

Florida is eight points behind eighth-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference.

"It was amazing," Jokinen said. "Everything went our way, but I think the main thing was the focus right there when the puck dropped, and we didn't change anything."

Nieuwendyk and Jokinen also had an assist for three-point games. Martin Gelinas and Joel Kwiatkowski had the other Florida goals, while Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.

Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Craig scored for Tampa Bay. John Grahame was pulled at 3:35 of the second after allowing four goals on 13 shots.

"It happens," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We're mature enough to handle to that. Just look to the next game."

Tampa Bay went 11-3-1 over its last 15 games before the Olympic break. Florida was 6-6-3 over the same stretch.

"We needed to get off to a good start, and that's as good as it gets," Nieuwendyk said. "But just like we put the losses behind us, we've got to put this behind us too. We've got to get ready for a tough game against Montreal (on Thursday)."

Jokinen put the Panthers ahead 1-0 with a power-play goal 26 seconds into the game. He has five goals and seven points in four games against the Lightning this season.

Tampa Bay, aided by three straight power plays, had 10 of the next 11 shots. Luongo made consecutive in-close saves on Craig.

The Panthers went up 2-0 when Gratton redirected Mike Van Ryn's shot on the power play at 13:47. Gratton has six goals and 12 points during a five-game point streak.

Florida had only one shot during a 5-on-3 power play that ended a minute into the second. The Panthers, however, took a 4-0 lead on goals 28 seconds apart by Gelinas (3:17) and Nieuwendyk (3:45).

Gratton scored his second power-play goal of the game at 12:23. Nieuwendyk added his second goal 34 seconds later before Jokinen scored again to make it 7-0 at 14:48.

"It was nice to get good support," Luongo said. "You know, 7-0 in the second period. I had to check the clock to make sure it was right."

Nieuwendyk has 550 goals, including 17 this season.

Lecavalier had a power-play goal at 5:57 of the third. After Kwiatkowski scored at 15:59, Criag ended the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:32 left.

"We were just awful," Tampa Bay's Brad Richards said.

Notes: Gratton and Tampa Bay's Evgeny Artyukhin both received five-minute penalties following a fight midway through the third. ... Tampa Bay's Darryl Sydor became the 205th player and 73rd defenseman to play in 1,000 NHL games. ... Luongo has played in 28 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 10. ... Richards had an assist, extending his point streak to seven games. He has 10 assists and 13 points during the span.

scoring summary
1st Period
00:26
FLA
PPG - Olli Jokinen (26) ASST: Jay Bouwmeester (28), Martin Gelinas (15)
1 - 0 FLA
13:47
FLA
PPG - Chris Gratton (12) ASST: Mike Van Ryn (18), Jozef Stumpel (24)
2 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
03:17
FLA
Martin Gelinas (11) ASST: Joe Nieuwendyk (17), Juraj Kolnik (9)
3 - 0 FLA
03:45
FLA
Joe Nieuwendyk (16) ASST: Juraj Kolnik (10), Jay Bouwmeester (29)
4 - 0 FLA
12:23
FLA
PPG - Chris Gratton (13) ASST: Jozef Stumpel (25), Olli Jokinen (35)
5 - 0 FLA
12:57
FLA
Joe Nieuwendyk (17) ASST: Juraj Kolnik (11), Mike Van Ryn (19)
6 - 0 FLA
14:48
FLA
Olli Jokinen (27) ASST: Jozef Stumpel (26), Rostislav Olesz (8)
7 - 0 FLA
3rd Period
05:57
TBL
PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (25) ASST: Vinny Prospal (40), Pavel Kubina (24)
7 - 1 FLA
15:59
FLA
Joel Kwiatkowski (3) ASST: Mike Van Ryn (20), Juraj Kolnik (12)
8 - 1 FLA
17:28
TBL
PPG - Ryan Craig (10) ASST: Brad Richards (43), Pavel Kubina (25)
8 - 2 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
00:21
TBL
Pavel Kubina  Holding
00:43
FLA
Rostislav Olesz  Tripping
03:45
FLA
Martin Gelinas  Holding
07:10
FLA
Jon Sim  Too many men on the ice
10:11
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Roughing
12:31
TBL
Rob DiMaio  Interference against  Rostislav Olesz
19:02
TBL
Dimitri Afanasenkov  Abuse of officials
19:02
TBL
Ruslan Fedotenko  Hooking
2nd Period
09:39
TBL
Brad Richards  Misconduct
09:39
TBL
Brad Richards  Unsportsmanlike conduct
09:39
TBL
Brad Richards  Hooking
16:57
FLA
Chris Gratton  Hooking
19:32
FLA
Chris Gratton  Hooking
3rd Period
04:10
FLA
Martin Gelinas  Holding
09:44
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Fighting
09:44
FLA
Chris Gratton  Fighting
11:48
FLA
Mike Van Ryn  Holding
13:55
TBL
Dan Boyle  Unsportsmanlike conduct
17:00
FLA
Nathan Horton  Cross checking
17:00
FLA
Nathan Horton  Slashing
17:00
TBL
Evgeny Artyukhin  Interference
goalie stats
Roberto Luongo
SA: 34TOI: 59:30
Saves: 32EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 15 - 17
SV%: .941SH: 2 - 2
Sean Burke
SA: 9TOI: 36:14
Saves: 5EV: 3 - 6
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .556SH: 1 - 1
John Grahame
John Grahame
SA: 13TOI: 23:45
Saves: 9EV: 3 - 5
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .692SH: 1 - 1
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