Cats make second period charge but can't get on the board against defending champs
TAMPA, FL – Playing in their third preseason game in three nights, the Florida Panthers (2-2-0) dropped a 5-0 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Cats will train in Vail, Col. for the next four days, before returning to South Florida for their final two preseason contests on Thursday, Sept. 29 versus the Carolina Hurricanes and a rematch with Tampa Bay on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Less than two minutes into the opening period of action, the Panthers were awarded a penalty shot when Bolts D Dan Boyle tripped up LW Niklas Hagman during a breakaway. Hagman failed to convert on the penalty shot and the game would remain scoreless, until Tampa Bay C Martin Cibak lit the lamp at 11:43. D Pavel Kubina added a power play tally late in the period to give the Bolts a two-goal advantage.
The Panthers controlled the play in the middle frame out shooting Tampa Bay 20-7 but failed to put one past Lightning netminder Sean Burke. The Bolts would add three more goals on tallies from LW Dave Andreychuk, LW Dimitry Afansenkov and Cibak again, to take a five goal lead.
The Cats drop the puck for the 2005-06 season on Wednesday. Oct. 5 against the Atlanta Thrashers. Opening week festivities continue on Friday, Oct. 7 when Florida hosts the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Tampa Bay Lightning. Great season seat, mini plans and group ticket packages are available by calling (954) 835-PUCK.