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Panthers top Lightning in Martin's 1,000th game

Mar 4, 2007 - 6:00 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- The Florida Panthers' latest victory made coach Jacques Martin's milestone extra special.

Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton scored two goals each in Martin's 1,000th career game as the Panthers posted their season-high fourth consecutive victory, a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Martin became the 12th individual in league history to coach 1,000 games and tied Hall of Famer Roger Neilson for 11th place on the all-time list. Also Florida's general manager, he raised his record to 471-386-143 over 13 seasons.

"I think the key is to work with good people in the organization, as well as the players," Martin said. "To me, it's no different than business. You need to have people that are committed, people you can trust and people that want to get better and people that have high expectations. I've been very fortunate."

With the win, Florida (27-26-13) remained within striking distance of the idle Carolina Hurricanes (33-27-7) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We have enough games left and it's getting more exciting now," Weiss said. "We're playing well. We're not giving much against and that's huge. We're taking care of our own end. We're capitalizing on power plays and we're trying to win every game 1-0 or 2-1. If we can do that, who knows what we can do."

Weiss gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead with 8:49 left in the second period by muscling past defenseman Dan Boyle and sliding the puck between goaltender Marc Denis' pads.

Roughly 4 1/2 minutes later, Weiss completed his second multi-goal game of the campaign with his 16th of the season on a slap shot from the left faceoff circle.

"They were huge," Panthers captain Olli Jokinen said. "Those were big goals. The same with (Ville Peltonen's) penalty shot (in the third period). That was the last nail. We played solid."

"I really feel he is making progress," Martin said of Weiss. "I think that last year, I liked the way he competed. Unfortunately, he got hurt halfway through the season. For his career, I think it was something that he learned through that time, what you do off the ice, how hard you have to work and how you can gain some benefit."

Horton opened the scoring at 5:03 of the first period with a wrist shot from the left circle that sneaked past starting netminder Johan Holmqvist, just inside the left goalpost. It was his 23rd goal of the season.

Just 22 seconds later, Jokinen reached the 30-goal mark for the third time in his career with a backhander between Holmqvist's pads, prompting Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella to replace the Swede with Denis.

"They take two shots at home and they're in the net," Tortorella said. "It can't happen that way. I don't care how good you are the other night. You need to be ready to go the next night."

Peltonen scored on a penalty shot at 7:54 of the final session and Horton wrapped up his third multi-goal game of the season 34 seconds later.

"On the penalty shot, you come from the side," Peltonen said. "It's tougher for the goalie to back up at the right speed and take care of the angles, too. (Denis) was a little off his angle, so I quickly decided to take advantage of that and shot it quickly."

Playing his 950th career contest, Ed Belfour made 31 saves for Florida, which is 7-1-2 in its last 10.

Blue-liner Nolan Pratt netted his first goal of the season, Vaclav Prospal scored his 11th and Denis stopped 32 shots for Tampa Bay (37-26-4), which remained two points ahead of idle Atlanta (33-23-10) for first place in the Southeast Division.

"(Denis) comes in and does a good job and the third goal is the one that hurt us badly because we're still there, but we get stubborn as far as the turnovers," Tortorella said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 2
    FLORIDA 2 2 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 23 (MARTIN GELINAS) 5:03
    FLA - OLLI JOKINEN 30 (JOZEF STUMPEL, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 5:25
    2ND PRD: TAM - NOLAN PRATT 1 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    8:16
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 15 (BRYAN ALLEN) 1

    Mar 3 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    FLORIDA 6
    3RD PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 11 (ERIC PERRIN, DAN BOYLE) 17:20

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 10:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 6
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 24 (ALEXEI SEMENOV, JAY BOUWMEESTER) 8:27

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 5
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PS) VILLE PELTONEN 12 7:54

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1
    FLORIDA 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 23 (MARTIN GELINAS) 5:03
    FLA - OLLI JOKINEN 30 (JOZEF STUMPEL, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 5:25
    2ND PRD: TAM - NOLAN PRATT 1 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    8:16
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 15 (B

    Mar 3 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 4
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) STEPHEN WEISS 16 (MARTIN GELINAS, ALEXEI SEMENOV)
    15:38

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 3
    2ND PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 15 (BRYAN ALLEN) 11:11

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - NOLAN PRATT 1 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, VINCENT LECAVALIER)
    8:16

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    FLORIDA 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 23 (UNASSISTED) 5:03
    FLA - OLLI JOKINEN 30 (JOZEF STUMPEL, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 5:25
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 11 11
    FLA 15

    Mar 3 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 2
    1ST PRD: FLA - OLLI JOKINEN 30 (JOZEF STUMPEL, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 5:25

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 7:53 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 23 (UNASSISTED) 5:03

    Lightning vs. PanthersMar 3 7:52 PM