SUNRISE, Fla. -- This was one nice home opener for the Florida Panthers.
"That's about as good as it gets," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "A good crowd, entertaining game, it was just what the doctor ordered for us coming off the road."
"It's a nice start at home. I thought we played really hard," McCabe said. "Sometimes it's tough coming back from a road trip and sometimes there's a letdown. We didn't let that happen tonight."
McCabe, Radek Dvorak and Stillman combined for Florida's first goal less than two minutes into the game. McCabe took a cross-ice pass from Dvorak and pushed the puck to Stillman in the slot. His shot beat Ellis on the stick side.
The Panthers chased Ellis with two more goals in less than a minute. Booth picked up a loose puck in front of the net and beat Ellis at 14:25. Reinprecht, making his first start of the season, then picked up a rebound and poked it in at 15:13.
Smith entered but it didn't get any better for Tampa Bay. Wideman converted a one-timer from the left circle for Florida's first power-play goal of the season.
"They were home and they need to please their fans at the opener," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "They had all the emotions they needed. For us, it was just the opposite. Our goaltenders have been great up until now but they were like the rest of the team tonight. They were just off."
Booth's second goal came at 7:49 of the third. He took a pass from Olesz just below the left circle and one-timed it past Smith. Olesz's goal came at 17:25, his second of the season.
"It just feels good to put six goals on the board," Booth said. "That gives the whole team confidence."
|David Booth (10) gets goals for the Panthers in the first and third periods -- his first this season. (Getty Images)|
|Tampa Bay (1-1-0)||0||0||0||0|
|Florida (1-2-0) «||4||0||2||6|
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|01:50||- Cory Stillman (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: McCabe, Dvorak|
|14:25||- David Booth (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Matthias, Olesz|
|15:13||- Steve Reinprecht (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Bernier, Santorelli|
|18:15||Power Play - Dennis Wideman (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Weiss, McCabe|
|07:49||- David Booth (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Olesz, McCabe|
|17:25||- Rostislav Olesz (2), Slap Shot. Assist: McCabe, Booth|
|17:33||Hall, 2 min, Interference|
|19:00||Downie, 2 min, Interference|
|04:16||Frolik, 2 min, Tripping|
|10:40||Higgins, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:00||Bergenheim, 2 min, Slashing|
|13:28||Stamkos, 2 min, Holding|
|Shots On Goal|
|Attendance - 17040|
|Referees - Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal|
|Linesmen - Steve Barton, Brian Mach|