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game recap

Panthers storm past Lightning into first

Jagr, Luongo push Florida to top of Atlantic Division

by Corey Long / Correspondent

TAMPA -- Jaromir Jagr scored a power-play goal, Roberto Luongo made 33 saves, and the Florida Panthers took over first place in the Atlantic Division with a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

Vincent Trocheck, Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Panthers (42-24-9), who went 4-1-0 against the Lightning this season.

The Panthers have a two-point lead over the Lightning with seven games remaining.

"We weren't worried about the season series, we're looking at standings and this was a big game for our club," Luongo said. "This was a playoff-type game."

Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos scored for the Lightning (43-27-5), who had won three in a row.

Video: FLA@TBL: Jagr tallies 25th goal on the power play

Jagr's 25th goal of the season gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead at 18:02 of the first period. With Stamkos off for high-sticking, the Panthers kept the puck in the zone for all 89 seconds of the power play. Aleksander Barkov found Jagr open inside the right circle and he sent a wrist shot past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

It is the 18th time Jagr has scored 25 goals in an NHL season.

"I have good players around me," the 44-year-old said. "My line hadn't played well in the last two or three games, so I wanted them to relax and have fun. The young guys, even though they are young guys, have been leading the team the last few years. They have the experience."

Hudler scored at 15:53 in the second period off a redirected shot from Alex Petrovic. The shot appeared to hit Hudler and Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman before going in for a 3-1 lead.

"There were some bad bounces and I had some trouble tracking the puck at times," Vasilevskiy said. "I had a nice run earlier in the season, but right now it's tough. Luongo played well and he's got a lot of experience in these situations."

Video: FLA@TBL: Trocheck ties the game with a gorgeous shot

Huberdeau's 15th goal of the season came when he eventually got control of the puck in front of the net and beat Vasilevskiy top shelf to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead 4:02 into the third period.

"This year we're are showing every one that we are a good team and we feel comfortable in this role," Huberdeau said. "We know what we're capable of."

Stamkos scored his 36th goal of the season on a power play. The Lightning pulled Vasilevskiy to get a 6-on-4 advantage, and Stamkos scored with 3:12 left after controlling a tipped pass from Boyle that took Luongo out of position.

"We have to understand that [Sunday] is a day off and we can't let it linger," Boyle said. "We have to come out flying Monday (against the Toronto Maple Leafs). This game is over. What's done is done."

Video: FLA@TBL: Stamkos puts a rebound top-shelf for a PPG

Johnson gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead on a power play at 5:52 in the first period.

"For the most part I think we are playing pretty good," Johnson said. "I just think we need to keep going and keep moving forward [and] focus on doing the right things, playing the right way so that when it does come down to the playoffs anything can happen and you want to be at your best for that."

Trocheck tied the game 1-1 with his 25th goal of the season at 13:36 in the first.

"I think he's the biggest surprise of the season," Jagr said of Trocheck. "I'm really enjoying the way he's playing. It's not all about the goals. The coaches are giving him a lot of responsibility and he is doing well with it."

Jokinen scored shorthanded into an empty net with 24 seconds remaining.

"We still have to keep getting points, we haven't clinched anything," Luongo said. "The key is just taking it one game at a time."

Video: Panthers top Bolts, take over 1st place in Atlantic

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