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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 7, Lightning 4

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 2 2 3 0 7
Lightning 2 1 1 0 4
FLA - PPG - T. Kopecky (1 ), PPG - S. Weiss (2), PPG - K. Versteeg (2), SHG - S. Bergenheim (1), PPG - K. Versteeg (3), S. Weiss (3), PPG - J. Garrison (2)

TBL - PPG - T. Purcell (2), V. Hedman (1), V. Lecavalier (2), S. Stamkos (2)
SUNRISE, FLA (AP) - Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss both had two goals and two assists, defenseman Brian Campbell had four assists, and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-4 on Monday night.

Versteeg put the Panthers up 5-3 with his second power-play goal of the game when he beat goalie Dwayne Roloson from the low right circle 25 seconds into the third period. Florida scored five goals in nine chances with the man advantage.

"We've been slowly picking away and tonight it exploded. We'd like to take credit for all our schemes, but there was a lot of high-end talent taking shots. They weren't pretty plays, but we were getting the puck at the net."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen to the Miami Herald following the game.
1. That's A Power Play: Pretty sure the Panthers spent some practice time working on the man advantage this past week. After scoring two power play goals against Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Panthers power play was extremely impressive against them Monday night as they posted five power play goals on their way to the 7-4 victory. Florida's units were making it look at ease with crisp passing all night long.

2. Finishing Strong: Twice did the Panthers have two goal leads (4-2, 5-3) only to see Tampa Bay cut it to one. Up 5-4 after a Steven Stamkos goal 9:07 left in the third, Florida pulled away with goals by Stephen Weiss (4:32 left) and Jason Garrison (PPG, 3:13 left) to win going away. It was certainly nice to see the team put some distance, especially after allowing Tampa to tie it and get a point on Saturday night.

3. Ruining The Home Opener: After going 2-1 in their first three home openers of the season (as well as their own home opener on Saturday), the Panthers put up a touchdown (wrong sport but still appropriate) in ruining Tampa Bay's home opener. The Lightning had started with five games on the road.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@LizThis: PS s/o to the boys in red the #FLAPanthers on the big W tonight, UNBELIEVABLE power play tonight, WOW. 5/8 is simply unheard of, congrats

@philm00x: Wow, #FlaPanthers got 5 PP goals tonight! Crazy high-scoring game vs #TBLightning! #NHL

@BluLiner55: WONDERFUL GAME!!! LOVE THE #FlaPanthers . Next victim - Washington. WOOT. GO PANTHERS!!!!

@Laouli: #flapanthers wooohoooooo now I can't wait for the game Thursday an to actually be there in person!!!

@SWhyno: #FlaPanthers beat #TBLightning 7-4. Five, count 'em FIVE power-play goals, and one short-handed. Visit #Caps tomorrow.
Memorable fan posts from the game.

Erick Maldonado: I'm loving Campbell more and more. Great pick up!!! Great game. Go Cats!!!

Jordan Davies: i see red from edmonton alberta canada!! stanley cup this year!!!

Joanne Ruimy: Wow! I can watch these guys play all night, they are so in sync it's insane! What a pleasure to see Weiss play so well, I am so happy! Go Pantherssssss!!!

Thomas Ouillette: Wow!! Speechless. I hope we can bring this energy tomorrow against the Caps. I'll be watching with my hat firmly in place.

Dave G.: it's so great to finally see our Panthers build on a lead rather than squander it. awesome game!

4. Brian Campbell has been hot in the first four games, recording his second multi-point game as he registered four assists. He picked up the second helpers on Tomas Kopecky and Stephen Weiss' first period power play goals as well as the secondary assist on Kris Versteeg's second period power play goal. His four assists tied a franchise record for assists by a defenseman (Bryan McCabe - October 16, 2010 against Tampa Bay).

4. Winger Kris Versteeg continued his hot start to the 2011-12 season as well with two power play goals (second and third periods) and two assists. Versteeg now has seven points during his four-game point streak (3-4-7).

The Panthers posted a franchise-tying five power play goals against their cross-state rivals. The five markers easily surpassed their three-power play goals (recorded on five seperate occasions). The other two instances that Florida potted five power play goals came on December 9, 1998 vs Ottawa (5-of-10) and October 25, 1996 against the NY Rangers (5-of-9).

9. The Panthers put up a seven-spot on Tampa Bay but the points came from just seven players. Leading the way were Campbell (0-4-4), Versteeg (2-2-4) and Stephen Weiss (2-2-4) with four points. Ed Jovanovski was the only other player with multiple points for the Panthers (0-2-2).

56. Florida's power play was fantastic going five-of-nine against Tampa Bay, good for a 56% success rate.
Kris Versteeg
We could have gone with Brian Campbell or Stephen Weiss (both with four points) but chose winger Kris Versteeg instead as he potted two power play goals (including the game-winner) and registered assists on both insurance goals.

2 Goals, 2 Assists, 4 Points, 2 PPG, +1, 4 Shots
Florida has little time to soak up the result of this game as they travel to Washington D.C. for the second game in two nights. The Capitals on the other hand have been off since beating Ottawa 2-1 on Saturday.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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