for this game

Horton, Jokinen help keep Panthers' playoff hopes alive

Mar 28, 2007 - 4:12 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Nathan Horton and Olli Jokinen kept the Florida Panthers' flickering playoff hopes alive.

Horton scored twice and had an assist while Jokinen had a goal and two assists as the Panthers posted a critical 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Goaltender Ed Belfour made 27 saves for the Panthers (32-20-14), who climbed within six points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We've got seven games left and we are going to chip away and try to win all seven and sneak into the playoffs," said Florida's Stephen Weiss, who scored his 20th goal in the first period. "We're not giving up, and if that means playing the spoiler role and knocking someone out of the playoffs, then that's what it's going to be."

Jokinen scored the go-ahead goal when he skated in on a breakaway and stuffed the puck past Tampa Bay goaltender Marc Denis' pads for a 3-2 lead with 59 seconds left in the second period.

"He (Tampa Bay's Shane O'Brien) grabbed my arm when I wanted to shoot it, but I was able to control it a little bit," Jokinen said of his 37th goal, one short of his career high. "It was a lucky goal."

Brad Richards and Filip Kuba tallied for the Lightning (41-32-4), who remained two points behind Atlanta (39-27-10) in the Southeast Division and are tied the Montreal Canadiens (40-31-6) for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning have won once in their last seven contests and have scored just 16 goals during its losing streak.

"This loss hurts the most so far," Tampa Bay's Tim Taylor said. "Hopefully that's the end of that. We're battling through a tough time right now, and we're having some trouble scoring goals.

"We've got to calm ourselves down, regroup and refocus. As hard as it is, we have to try to keep with the positives and refocus for the next game. I think we might be squeezing the sticks a little too much, and things don't seem to be going our way."

The Lightning pulled within 3-2 when Kuba blasted a shot from the left faceoff dot past Belfour for a shorthanded tally at 9:58 of the third period, but the Panthers iced the game when defenseman Bryan Allen and Horton scored empty-net goals for a 5-2 lead.

"In the third period, we gave them a shorthanded goal but then we had some good chances as well," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "We were defending well. Eddie (Belfour) was strong and we got great games out of our top defenders like (Jay) Bouwmeester and Allen."

Horton's second goal was his career-high 30th of the season.

"I've always said he's just a good young player and that he just needs time to be a good player," Martin said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 3 2 5
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RICHARDS 25 (JASON WARD, ERIC PERRIN) 4:54
    FLA - (PP) STEPHEN WEISS 20 (OLLI JOKINEN, RUSLAN SALEI)
    10:05
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 29 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 13:00
    FLA - OLLI JOKINEN 37 (NA

    Mar 27 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 5
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - (EN) NATHAN HORTON 30 (OLLI JOKINEN, RUSLAN SALEI)
    19:44

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    TAMPA BAY 2
    3RD PRD: TAM - (SH) FILIP KUBA 13 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 9:58

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 3 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RICHARDS 25 (JASON WARD, ERIC PERRIN) 4:54
    FLA - (PP) STEPHEN WEISS 20 (OLLI JOKINEN, RUSLAN SALEI)
    10:05
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 29 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 13:00
    FLA - OLLI J

    Mar 27 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 3 3
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RICHARDS 25 (JASON WARD, ERIC PERRIN) 4:54
    FLA - (PP) STEPHEN WEISS 20 (OLLI JOKINEN, RUSLAN SALEI)
    10:05
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 29 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 13:00
    FLA - OLLI J

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 29 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRYAN ALLEN) 13:00

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) STEPHEN WEISS 20 (OLLI JOKINEN, RUSLAN SALEI)
    10:05

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - BRAD RICHARDS 25 (JASON WARD, ERIC PERRIN) 4:54

    Panthers vs. LightningMar 27 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 6 6
    TAM 11 11
    GOALIES: FLA - ED BELFOUR
    TAM - MARC DENIS

    Mar 27 7:42 PM