for this game

Jokinen, Panthers edge Penguins to end slide

Dec 6, 2006 - 3:37 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Captain Olli Jokinen helped the Florida Panthers end a long losing streak.

Jokinen had the decisive power-play goal and an assist as the Panthers ended a six-game skid, posting a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gary Roberts and Jozef Stumpel each tallied and defenseman Ruslan Salei added two assists for Florida, which had scored just one goal in its last four contests.

"It's been a tough stretch for us," Roberts said. "We haven't played very well. We've been good in stretches, but definitely not a 60-minute game. We knew we were coming in against a real talented team tonight and I thought we played pretty solid.

"We took a few too many penalties which obviously could have cost us. You've got to feel good about the win and hopefully, it's something we can build on."

Jokinen broke a 2-2 tie when he scored on a power play with 5:07 left. The Panthers' captain rifled a shot from 25 feet out past the glove side of goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, who was screened by a Florida player.

"It's been pretty tough the last couple of weeks, last month," Jokinen said. "We haven't been able to get wins, you know. But I think the last three days, we have been going in the right direction as a team. We had some good practices the last couple of days and it looks like it carried over to tonight's game."

"The only thing I saw was the release off the stick and that's the last thing I remember," Thibault said. "I knew it was going to go glove side, so I just tried to get my body there and get it shouldered some how, just make the puck hit me and obviously, it didn't."

The tally came minutes after Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby tied the game with a great individual effort. With the Penguins on the power play, Crosby gathered the puck near the red line, skated in and deked two Panthers as he went by.

The second-year superstar split both Florida defenders and, while falling to his left, wristed the puck between the pads of netminder Alex Auld, tying the contest at 2-2 with 9:02 left.

"It's a situation where you're down by a goal and you know how important that next one is for either team," Crosby said. "It's important to have that desperation when you're down by a goal because the next one is so important."

"It was a great goal by Crosby but we believed if we stuck to our system the last six or seven minutes of the game, we were going to get our chances," Jokinen said.

It was the 11th goal of the season and 50th for Crosby, who finished second to Washington's Alex Ovechkin in voting for last season's Calder Trophy.

"I thought that we were going to build on (Crosby's goal), but we took a penalty and the penalty killing didn't do the job again tonight," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.

Erik Christensen scored the game's initial goal for Pittsburgh, which has lost three straight after failing to hold leads in all of those contests.

"We were in the game but we came up short," Therrien said. "We didn't have the effort of all of the players. We have some guys that gave everything they have and some guys that didn't. It has to come from the inside. It has to come from the players. Some of those guys think the effort is there, but it's not."

After going 0-for-17 with a man advantage in their last four games, the Panthers were 2-for-6 against the Penguins.

"A lot of times, if you win the special teams part of the game, you have a chance of winning the hockey game," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "Especially in this new NHL, special teams are big."

Auld made 25 saves for Florida while Thibault stopped 27 shots for Pittsburgh.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1 1 3
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) ERIK CHRISTENSEN 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, COLBY
    ARMSTRONG) 7:43
    FLA - GARY ROBERTS 7 (NATHAN HORTON, OLLI JOKINEN) 14:35
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) JOZEF STUMPEL 6 (GARY ROBERTS, RUSLAN SALEI)
    13:20
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP)

    Dec 5 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) OLLI JOKINEN 12 (RUSLAN SALEI, NATHAN HORTON)
    14:53

    Panthers vs. PenguinsDec 5 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) SIDNEY CROSBY 11 (SERGEI GONCHAR) 10:58

    Panthers vs. PenguinsDec 5 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) ERIK CHRISTENSEN 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, COLBY
    ARMSTRONG) 7:43
    FLA - GARY ROBERTS 7 (NATHAN HORTON, OLLI JOKINEN) 14:35
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) JOZEF STUMPEL 6 (GARY ROBERTS, RUSLAN SALEI)
    13:20
    SHOTS

    Dec 5 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) JOZEF STUMPEL 6 (GARY ROBERTS, RUSLAN SALEI) 13:20

    Panthers vs. PenguinsDec 5 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) ERIK CHRISTENSEN 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI
    GONCHAR) 7:43
    FLA - GARY ROBERTS 7 (NATHAN HORTON, OLLI JOKINEN) 14:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 13

    Dec 5 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - GARY ROBERTS 7 (NATHAN HORTON, OLLI JOKINEN) 14:35

    Panthers vs. PenguinsDec 5 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) ERIK CHRISTENSEN 3 (SIDNEY CROSBY, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    7:43

    Panthers vs. PenguinsDec 5 7:51 PM