ATLANTA, GA – C Stephen Weiss recorded a pair of power play goals as the Florida Panthers picked up their second win of the preseason with a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night at Philips Arena. Weiss has now notched three goals in two preseason games, while RW Anthony Stewart has scored goals in each of Florida's preseason victories. The Panthers continue their preseason road trip with a stop in Grand Forks, ND on Friday night when they take on the Minnesota Wild.
D Mike Van Ryn added three assists in his first preseason game of the year, while rookie Rostislav Olesz added a point for the second straight game (2 gms., 1-1-2)
After falling behind 1-0 in the opening period, the Cats scored three consecutive power play goals in the middle frame. RW Juraj Kolnik put the Panthers on the scoreboard when he fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Atlanta netminder Mike Dunham at 3:45. Less than five minutes later, Weiss put the Cats ahead 2-1, when he tipped a loose puck past Dunham.
Weiss added his second of the contest on the power play when he took a pass from C Olli Jokinen and found the back of the net at 13:31. Atlanta closed the period on power play goal from Peter Bondra with just under three minutes to play in the second.
Florida built a 4-2 lead early in the third period, after Stewart recorded his second goal of the preseason when he skated into the slot and fired a shot past Dunham.
Cats goaltender Roberto Luongo played brilliantly in a period and a half of action making 31 saves on 32 shots. G Jean-Marc Pelletier stopped 20 of 22 shots for the Cats. Florida played more than a period shorthanded (22:29) while killing off 10 of 12 Thrasher power play chances. All four Panthers goals were scored on the power play. Peter Bondra netted a pair of goals for Atlanta.