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Cats Remain Unbeaten on Home Ice

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Olli Jokinen scored the game-winning goal late in the second period and the Florida Panthers beat Philadelphia 3-2 on Friday night, the Flyers' fifth straight loss.

Ed Belfour had 25 saves for the Panthers, who started the season 4-0 at home for the first time since 1995-96, when they made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

Jozef Stumpel and Juraj Kolnik also scored for Florida.

Simon Gagne had two goals for the Flyers, who last lost five straight from March 28-April 4, 2002. Antero Niittymaki stopped 23 shots for Philadelphia.

Mike Van Ryn passed across the ice to Jokinen, whose shot from the right of the crease got past Niittymaki's glove with 1:43 left in the middle period to break a 2-2 tie.

Gagne's second goal came 6:38 into the second period after a shot by Sami Kapanen was blocked by Belfour. Gagne got the rebound and poked the puck into the net to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

The Panthers tied it 34 seconds later when Kolnik's shot from the top of the right circle beat Niittymaki on the glove side.

The Panthers scored on their first shot on goal. During a Flyers' power play, Stumpel picked up a loose puck at center ice and his shot from the slot went through Niittymaki's legs for a short-handed goal 2:01 into the game.

Philadelphia tied it at 1 at 16:45 of the period when Mike Knuble passed across the front of the crease to Gagne on the right side and he put the pack past Belfour on the glove side.

Notes: Florida is 1-9-1 at home against Philadelphia since Jan. 17, 2000. ... Jokinen has 266 points as a Panther, which ties him for fourth place on the franchise list with Rob Niedermeyer. ... Florida F Todd Bertuzzi was scratched due to back spasms. ... Philadelphia F Peter Forsberg missed the game after spraining his left wrist on Thursday at Tampa Bay.

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