GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (38-17-7-5) at Florida Panthers (24-27-14-3).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to extend their franchise-record winning
streak when they visit the Florida Panthers.
The Lightning, who are tied with Philadelphia for the top spot in the
Eastern Conference. rallied for a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over the New Jersey
Devils on Friday for their seventh straight win.
"We were definitely outplayed," said Dave Andreychuk, who scored with 2:43
left in the overtime. "We showed character to stay in the game. I think it's
going to be a little wake-up call."
Vincent Lecavalier forced overtime with just 9.6 seconds left, flipping a
wrist shot past New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.
"We get the two points and a lesson," coach John Tortorella said. "Right
from the get-go, I don't think we were sharp mentally. We end up finding a way
Tampa Bay has not lost since falling 4-3 in overtime to Buffalo on Feb. 20,
earning at least one point in its last 14 games (11-0-1-2).
The Lightning have averaged 4.3 goals in their last seven games. They came
into Friday's game ranked fourth in the NHL with 196 goals.
The Panthers are coming off Wednesday's 5-2 loss to New Jersey - just their
second defeat in nine games (4-2-3). Florida is tied with Buffalo, eight points
behind the eighth-place New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the
East with 14 games to play.
Marcus Nilson and Juraj Kolnik scored for Florida, and Roberto Luongo had 22
saves. However, Luongo, who recorded his team-record seventh shutout of the
season against Washington on Tuesday, was pulled after the second period.
"I didn't feel right from the beginning," he said. "I started out
sluggish. This is one I'm going to have to put behind me."
Steve Shields replaced Luongo, making his first appearance since Feb. 4.
STANDINGS: Lightning - 88 points, 1st place, Southeast Division. Panthers -
65 points, 2nd place, 23 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Martin St. Louis, 32 goals, 46 assists and 78
points; Chris Dingman, 129 PIM. Panthers - Olli Jokinen, 19 goals; Valeri Bure,
25 assists and 43 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 126 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 4): Lightning - Power play: 16.7 percent (47
for 281), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent (191 for 226), 11th.
Panthers - Power play: 15.7 percent (39 for 249), 18th. Penalty killing: 85.9
percent (261 for 304), 3rd.
GOALTENDERS: Lightning - Nikolai Khabibulin (23-15-6, 3 SO, 2.34 GAA); John
Grahame (15-7-1, 1, 1.86). Panthers - Luongo (21-27-13, 7, 2.25); Shields
SEASON SERIES: Panthers, 2-1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 14; Lightning, 3-2. At Tampa Bay, Lecavalier had a goal
and an assist for the Lightning, who scored twice in the second period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 19-10-3-3 on the road; Panthers - 13-11-6-2