NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Florida
(Tuesday, December 13th)
Final Score: Florida 7, Nashville 3
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Nathan Horton notched his first career hat trick and Gary Roberts scored twice as the Florida Panthers defeated the Nashville Predators, 7-3, at BankAtlantic Center.
Olli Jokinen and Rostislav Olesz tallied two assists each and Roberto Luongo made 31 saves for Florida, which snapped a four-game skid. Martin Gelinas and Juraj Kolnik both added goals for the Panthers.
The Predators lost starting goalkeeper Chris Mason prior to the game due to pulled groin, forcing Brian Finley into action for his first NHL start. Finley stopped 34 shots while Adam Hall, Scottie Upshall and Steve Sullivan scored the goals for Nashville, which has lost three straight.
Nashville got on the scoreboard 5:59 into the first period while on the power play. Hall gathered a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot that beat Luongo for a 1-0 lead.
Florida netted the equalizer with 6:09 left in the first period while on the man advantage after Roberts found a rebound on the doorstep and swept the puck through Finley's legs to make it 1-1.
The Panthers scored four unanswered second-period goals to seize control of the contest.
With 9:45 gone in the period, Horton beat Finley with a wrist shot from the right circle for a 2-1 lead. Just 47 seconds later, Roberts beat Finley with a wrap-around shot from behind the Panthers' net for a 3-1 advantage.
Florida upped its lead to 4-1 with 2:32 left in the frame when Gelinas got credit for a power-play goal after he threw a shot from the point through traffic in front and past Finley. Less than a minute later, Horton beat Finley with a wrist shot from the slot to give the Panthers a 5-1 lead.
Kolnik scored just over three minutes into the third period and Horton completed his milestone hat trick after he beat Finley with a wrist shot with 8:39 left in the game to make it 7-1.
Nashville added two late goals for the final margin. Upshall and Sullivan scored 37 seconds apart to pull Nashville back within 7-3.
The Predators lost for the first time in the last six meetings against Florida... Nashville fell to 1-3-1 all-time on the road against the Panthers...Defenseman Jamie Allison suited up as the backup goaltender for the Predators...The seven goals by the Panthers were a season high...The last time the Panthers scored seven goals was January 21, 2002 against Montreal...Luongo notched is first win over Nashville in seven games...Nashville activated defenseman Danny Markov from injured reserve prior to the game.
12/13 22:26:56 ET