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Lightning sweep home-and-home with Florida

Nov 27, 2011 - 4:40 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist and Mathieu Garon stopped 24 shots, as Tampa Bay downed Florida, 5-1, to sweep a home-and-home series.

The Lightning won Friday's opener, 2-1, on Stamkos overtime goal to halt a two-game skid.

Martin St. Louis, Tom Pyatt and Ryan Malone also scored in Saturday's victory.

"We're showing what we have now," said Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher. "It took a little while, but I saw it in training camp and we're going to keep it going here. This is our team."

Shawn Matthias had a late goal for the Panthers, who had won three straight before encountering the Lightning.

"We didn't have any juice out there tonight," said Matthias. "They beat us to the puck and had the better legs. We didn't generate anything out there."

Jacob Markstrom stopped 29 shots in the loss.

Seven of the previous nine games between these teams had been decided in either overtime or the shootout, but the Lightning ensured a regulation finish on Saturday with a dominant start.

St. Louis put the home team on top with a rebound wrister just 2:07 in and Tampa Bay controlled the second period, scoring three unanswered goals for a 4-0 advantage.

First, at the 3:09 mark, Pyatt charged into the Florida zone, beat a defender and slid a backhand past Markstrom, who was making his fifth start of the season.

At the 6:02 mark, Stamkos buried a rebound off a Teddy Purcell shot to extend the advantage and Malone drove home a rebound at 10:35 for a 4-0 lead.

Garon was in line for the 21st shutout of his career and his second of the season, but he misplayed the puck behind his own net and Matthias notched an easy goal with 2:17 remaining as a result.

Stamkos scored with less than a minute remaining to notch his eighth goal in the past 10 games.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay and Florida have already met five times this season, with the Lightning holding a 3-2 edge...Neither team was successful on the power play, with the Lightning going 0-for-2 and the Panthers going 0-for-6.