NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Florida
(Saturday, March 6th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 5, Florida 3
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Dave Andreychuk, Cory Stillman, and Chris Dingman each posted a goal and an assist, leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers at the Office Depot Center.
Dimitry Afanasenkov and Dan Boyle also scored as the Lightning extended their franchise-best winning streak to eight games. Nikolai Khabibulin made 29 saves for Tampa Bay, which has earned a point in 15 consecutive games (12-0-1-2), also a franchise record.
Valeri Bure tallied twice for the Panthers, who have just one win in their last five games (1-3-1). Nathan Horton scored the other Florida goal, while Olli Jokinen and Mike Van Ryn each registered two assists.
Roberto Luongo allowed five goals on just 24 shots before getting pulled after two periods. Luongo now has put together two shaky starts after recording four shutouts in a span of seven games.
Afanasenkov opened the scoring with a goal just 1:27 into the contest, his second in as many nights. He skated in from right circle and went to his backhand to beat Luongo five-hole.
Florida tied it less than eight minutes later when Bure re-directed a point shot by Branislav Mezei for his 19th tally of the season.
Andreychuk's 16th staked Tampa Bay to a 2-1 edge when he weaved through the Florida defense in the left circle before firing a shot to the top corner with 4:21 left in the opening stanza.
"That was a tough play for one of our players, said Panthers head coach John Torchetti. "It was a big goal. They worked hard as a team but we made some mistakes."
Stillman closed out the first-period scoring when he backhanded a rebound off a fallen Luongo into the cage to give the Lightning a 3-1 advantage.
Tampa Bay increased its margin to three on Boyle's seventh tally of the season just 2:32 into the middle frame.
Dingman then caught Luongo leaning as he hugged the post with 5:10 to go in the second, barely squeezing one in off the struggling goalkeeper.
Florida answered with two power-play markers in the third period to try to get back into it, but it was to no avail. Horton tucked the puck across the line from the side of the net 5:51 into the period. Bure netted his second of the night with 7:54 remaining on a one-timer blast from the left circle.
Khabibulin held on by turning aside 10 shots in the final 20 minutes, while Steve Shields stopped all six shots he faced in mop-up duty.
The Lightning established a new franchise-best with their 39th win of the season...They are 24-3-1-4 since January 3...Tampa Bay has now won five straight on the road...Brad Richards assisted on Dingman's goal, pushing his point streak to 11 games (6g, 13a)...In his last start against New Jersey, Luongo was torched for four goals on 26 shots in two periods before being pulled.
03/06 23:38:06 ET