Florida at Tampa Bay

Panthers 4, Lightning 3


TAMPA, Fla. -- It wasn't pretty, but Florida coach Peter DeBoer will take the Panthers' latest victory.

Jay Bouwmeester scored for a fourth straight game and completed Florida's three-goal second period as the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday.

"This one definitely wasn't a keeper," DeBoer said. "We'll probably burn the tape of it rather than watch it, but we got two points."

Bouwmeester gave Florida a 4-3 lead with a power-play goal from the left circle just as the second period ended.

"You just play to the buzzer," Bouwmeester said. "You knew there was not a whole lot of time left, but you're not counting the seconds."

Gregory Campbell, Cory Stillman and Richard Zednik also scored for the Panthers, who have won five of seven. Florida, looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000, moved into eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

"It's been an uphill climb," DeBoer said. "It wasn't that long ago we were sitting in 29th, 30th (overall), but there's still a long ways to go."

This was the first time since March 8, 2008, a 3-2 victory over Atlanta, that the Panthers won a game after trailing by two goals.

"In the first, we were pretty bad. Everybody knew it," Bouwmeester said. "Games like this are huge for us."

Tampa Bay got goals from Vincent Lecavalier, Vinny Prospal and Ryan Malone.

After Stillman's power-play goal at 6:39 of the second, Zednik tied it at 3 with 9:04 left in the period.

Lecavalier put the Lightning up 1-0 at 4:37 of the first. The Tampa Bay captain has seven goals and 14 points in 11 games.

Prospal extended the Lightning's lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal with 6:24 left in the first.

After Campbell cut the Florida deficit to 2-1 at 17:55, Malone made it a two-goal game again with his 100th NHL goal 51 seconds later.

"I think we started the game great," Prospal said. "We built a lead and let it slip in the second. That can't happen to us. That was a four-point game. We gave them all the momentum."

Florida goalie Craig Anderson was taken out after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period and was replaced by Tomas Vokoun, who stopped all 22 shots he faced.

Panthers defenseman Ville Peltonen, playing with a broken right foot, left late in the second. He was hurt after a knee-to-knee collision with Tampa Bay's Evgeny Artyukhin, who was given a tripping penalty on the play.

Peltonen will be examined by the team's medical staff on Sunday.

"It's a dirty hit," DeBoer said. "We'll let the league decide what they're going to do with it."

Lightning rookie center Steven Stamkos didn't play for the second time in five games as part of an ongoing strength building program. In addition to conditioning work, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft is taking part in extra video sessions with the coaching staff.


Bouwmeester also has a six-game point streak (4 goals, 7 points). ... Olaf Kolzig was the Lightning backup goalie after missing 12 games with an arm injury. ... Panthers C Nathan Horton had three assists.

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Florida  (21-16-7) «1304
Tampa Bay (14-21-10)3003
Three Stars
J. Bouwmeester

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
T. Vokoun

Saves: 22
Save Pct.: 1.000
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:37Vincent Lecavalier (19), Tip-In. Assist: Smaby, Prospal
13:36Power Play - Vaclav Prospal (10), Tip-In. Assist: St. Louis, Lecavalier
17:55Gregory Campbell (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Peltonen, Dvorak
18:46Ryan Malone (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: St. Louis, Meszaros
06:39Power Play - Cory Stillman (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Horton, Bouwmeester
10:56Richard Zednik (6), Tip-In. Assist: Booth, Horton
19:59Power Play - Jay Bouwmeester (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stillman, Horton
Penalty Summary
02:25McCabe, 2 min, Holding
12:11Bouwmeester, 2 min, Hooking
14:44Horton, 2 min, Tripping
02:08Boynton, 2 min, Tripping
06:12Smaby, 2 min, Hooking
19:33Artyukhin, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay1191333
Craig Anderson20:0083
Tomas Vokoun40:00220
Mike Smith58:55174
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Tampa Bay1-for-4
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Referees - Tim Peel, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Steve Barton, Jonny Murray
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