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Over 32,000 Fans Watch Panthers Hockey In Week Two

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Cats Reach First Place In Southeast Division After Win Over Sabres

SUNRISE, FL – The Southeast Division-leading Florida Panthers' thrilling 3-2 home victory over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday evening capped off a stellar week that saw over 32,000 fans come to the BankAtlantic Center for two exciting hockey games.

"Thanks to the continuous support of our fans, our second week of hockey was as tremendous as the first," Sunrise Sports & Entertainment chief operating officer Michael Yormark said. "The excitement in the building is palatable during games. We hope that with the help of our wonderful fans and the continued growth of our franchise we can continue that excitement all season long."

On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Panthers skated furiously to erase a 3-0 deficit to the visiting Boston Bruins by scoring two straight second period goals that ignited the crowd of 15,617. Juraj Kolnik and Nathan Horton were the goalscorers, though eventually Boston prevailed, 5-2.

But it was only two nights later, against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, Oct. 15, that the Cats got back on track.

With NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the house and 17,426 fans lending their support, the Panthers and Sabres were tied 2-2 in the third period until Florida captain Olli Jokinen scored the game-winner with just 1:07 remaining. Horton and veteran wing Martin Gelinas also scored for the Cats while G Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.

With the win the Panthers improved to 4-2-0 with eight points on the season, good for a first place tie with in-state rival Tampa Bay.

The Panthers follow a two game road trip at the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils with a two-game home stand at the BankAtlantic Center. The Cats will face rookie stud Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Thursday at 7 p.m. before welcoming Dany Heatley and the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Washington and Ottawa games are still available at all Ticketmaster outlets and the BankAtlantic Center box office. The special $8 game day only tickets will be in effect, but fans should keep in mind that season ticket packages starting as low as $7 per game are still available by calling 954-835-PUCK. Fans will be able to pick up copies of the Growl at both contests.

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