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Panthers Strike to Defeat Lightning 6-3

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Cats Claim Season Series vs. Tampa Bay

As the season winds down, the Panthers showed they haven't given up. The Cats came out in full force against intra-state rivals Tampa Bay at the BankAtlantic Center on Sunday evening.

Jamie McLennan earned his second win of the season as the team set a season high with five goals in the third period.

The Cats didn't take control of the game until the middle of the third, with the Lightning up 2-1 going into the last period. Olli Jokinen was able to tie the game with his second of the night off of an assist from Juraj Kolnik. Nathan Horton helped the Cats take the lead with assists from Mike Van Ryn and Joe Nieuwendyk, but the Lightning responded right back with Martin St. Louis re-tying the game.

Then the scoring streak got started for the Panthers. Kolnik netted the game winner, his 14th of the year from an assist from Sean Hill, his 17th. Joe Nieuwendyk got his 22nd goal, an empty netter as Mike Van Ryn got his second assist of the night giving him 27 for the season. Kolnik scored his second of the night, a power-play goal, this time Jokinen returning the favor with his 47th assist and Jay Bouwmeester, his 40th assist.

Jokinen and Kolnik each ended the night with 2 goals and an assist and Nieuwendyk won 18 of his 23 face-offs to go along with his goal and assist. The Cats head out on the road this week to take on Toronto on Tuesday and Ottawa on THursday. The team will return home on Saturday (April 16th) to take on the Washington Capitals.

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