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Cats Head Home for Rematch vs. Atlanta Monday Night

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Chris Gratton and Joe Nieuwendyk scored for the Panthers in Saturday night's 4-2 loss in Atlanta. Nieuwendyk also knocked a couple of shots off the post.

After Atlanta jumped to a 2-0 lead, Gratton scored with 1:43 left in the second after Juraj Kolnik hustled for a puck sliding wide of the net and flipped it to his teammate all alone in front of the net.

Just seconds after Florida clanked its second one off the post, Bryan Allen fired a slap shot from the point that ricocheted perfectly off the boards behind the net to Stephen Weiss at the opposite post.

He redirected the puck to Nieuwendyk, who one-timed it past Lehtonen for his third goal of the season.

Ilya Kovalchuk broke out of his slump with two goals, Marian Hossa scored on a penalty shot and the Atlanta Thrashers kept up the best start in franchise history, beating the Cats 4-2 Saturday night.

J.P. Vigier also scored and Kari Lehtonen turned aside 18 shots in the Thrashers' win, their sixth in the first eight games.

Atlanta has picked up 13 of a possible 16 points, with its only regulation loss coming on a last-second goal by defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina.

The Panthers will have a chance for redemption Monday night at the BankAtlantc Center, where they are unbeaten on home ice.

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