SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jay Bouwmeester wasn't trying for the first game-winning goal of his career. He just got it.
Bouwmeester scored with nine minutes left in the third period to break a tie and Alexander Auld made 21 saves as the Florida Panthers beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Friday night, the Lightning's third straight loss.
Bouwmeester's power-play goal gave Florida a 3-2 lead. His shot from just inside the blue line above the right circle slid past Johan Holmqvist, who was screened on the play.
"It was right off a faceoff and I just tried to get it on the net and see what happens," Bouwmeester said. "It went in, so that's good."
The power play came after Holmqvist was called for delay of game after he played the puck in the restricted zone.
"It's a bad play, it cost us the game," Holmqvist said. "I know the rule and I realized I was very close to the line. I gave it a good release. I guess I wasn't quick enough."
Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Clark scored for Tampa Bay and Holmqvist had 24 saves.
The Lightning are 1-for-27 on the power play this season, including 0-for-20 over the last three games.
"We have to get that going," forward Martin St. Louis said. "It's costing us games. It's frustrating but we can't feel sorry for ourselves."
Clark tied the game 2-all in the second period when he scored while on his side. Nikita Alexeev passed to Clark in front, who fell on his left side but was able to sweep the loose puck into the net.
Horton gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead when he took a pass from Jokinen in front and poked the puck past a diving Holmqvist at 19:11 of the first.
Kolnik tied the score at 1 when he one-timed a pass from Martin Gelinas at 14:34.
Tampa Bay scored on its first shot on goal when Lecavalier beat Auld high on the glove side from the top of the right circle.
"Both goalies played well but we were able to get that power-play goal at the end and that was enough," Jokinen said. "Auld was good again. He made some really nice saves at the end."
Florida is 3-0 at home for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
|Nathan Horton makes his contribution with a goal, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead. (AP)|
|Tampa Bay (1-3-0)||1||1||0||2|
|Florida (3-1-1) «||2||0||1||3|
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|01:18||Vincent Lecavalier, Snap Shot - Assist: Ruslan Fedotenko|
|14:34||Juraj Kolnik (2), Snap Shot - Assists: Martin Gelinas, Mike Van Ryn|
|19:11||Nathan Horton (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Olli Jokinen, Gary Roberts|
|09:19||Ryan Craig (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Nikita Alexeev, Vaclav Prospal|
|09:00||Power Play - Jay Bouwmeester, Slap Shot - Assists: Ruslan Salei, Olli Jokinen|
|03:41||Janik: Hooking - 2 min.|
|05:59||Gratton: High sticking - 2 min.|
|09:07||Salei: Hooking - 2 min.|
|19:38||Fedotenko: Hooking - 2 min.|
|02:51||Craig: Holding - 2 min.|
|11:44||Gelinas: Interference - 2 min.|
|14:06||Perrin: Holding the stick - 2 min.|
|16:33||Jokinen: Interference - 2 min.|
|01:57||Bertuzzi: Holding the stick - 2 min.|
|06:18||Gelinas: Holding - 2 min.|
|08:53||Holmqvist: Delay of Game - 2 min.|
|18:01||Bertuzzi: Holding - 2 min.|
|19:18||Boyle: Hooking - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 15208|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Don Koharski|
|Line Judges - Scott Driscoll, Steve Miller|