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Cats Climb to Within Six Points in Playoff Chase with Win over Washington

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Joe Nieuwendyk Scores Lone Goal in Shootout Win

Roberto Luongo recorded his first shootout shutout as the Panthers recorded a 4-3 victory versus the Washington Capitals.

Joe Nieuwendyk secured the win as he drew Olaf Kolzig out of his net, skated to the right launching the puck off Kolzig's pad, then bounced it into the net.

With the season dwindling down and every game a must win, the Panthers have won five out of their last six to keep the playoff hunt alive. As the Cats sit only six points out of a playoff berth, the team has come together to perform at its highest levels when perseverance is needed the most.

Olli Jokinen put himself in third place in overall points recorded in a season among franchise leaders. Jokinen notched his 40th assist tonight, bringing his points total to 72. Jokinen also passed Ray Whitney in total assists in franchise history with 131, ranking him fifth.

Jokinen's assist came on Jay Bouwmeester's tying goal in the second period, setting off a wild 15 seconds of play in which Rostislav Olesz connected for his seventh goal of the season.

Jon Sim opened up the scoring in the first period notching his 15th goal and Roberto Luongo recorded his 100th franchise win. Tonight's victory places Luongo only seven wins away from securing the overall lead in team history.

Also recording assists on the night were Roberto Luongo, Joe Nieuwendyk, Joel Kwiatkowski, Mikail Yakubov and Chris Gratton.

The Cats now head back to Sunrise to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night at the BankAtlantic Center.

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