for this game

Gratton's two goals push Lightning past Panthers

Oct 11, 2007 - 3:56 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Chris Gratton delivered some bad news to his former teammates.

Gratton scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning posted a 2-1 victory over the Southeast Division rival Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

Mathieu Darche and defenseman Paul Ranger each added an assist for Tampa Bay, which is 3-0-0 for the first time since 2003-04 - the season the club won the Stanley Cup.

The victory also help the Lightning remain one of the three unbeaten teams in the Eastern Conference along with Ottawa and Washington.

"It's always satisfying when you win, but they battled us right to the end and that game could have gone either way," Gratton said.

Florida, which is winless, has been held without a point in its first three games for the first time since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season.

Gratton spent the previous two seasons with the Panthers before being acquired by Tampa Bay on June 13 in exchange for a second-round draft pick.

"I don't think it matters who it's against," Gratton said. "It's always nice to chip in."

"We found a way," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "It wasn't, obviously, as sharp as we were the other night. Gratton's line was probably our best line."

Tampa Bay took the lead at 10:56 of the first period, when Darche raced down the left wing and fired a shot that bounced off the chest of Craig Anderson. The goaltender could not control the rebound, however, allowing Gratton to backhand the puck past his left leg for a 1-0 edge.

"Darche played well," Tortorella said. "He has skated very well. You have some injuries and a guy steps in. It would be awful tough to take him out of the lineup right now if someone gets healthy."

The Panthers knotted the game early in the second, when a shot by captain Olli Jokinen from the left side of the net ricocheted off the stick of a Tampa Bay defender. The puck popped into the air before bouncing off the shin pad of Ville Peltonen, who was lurking in front, and between the legs of netminder Johan Holmqvist with just 4:04 gone in the session.

"I think it was probably the best game of our season so far," Jokinen said. "I don't think we created that many chances the first two games. But they count the goals and we got only one of the board, so that's the frustrating part."

Gratton again was in the right place at the right time 6 1/2 minutes later. During a power play, a shot from the point by Ranger deflected off the stick of the 32-year-old center and past Anderson to restore Tampa Bay's one-goal advantage.

The 15-year veteran, who tallied 30 goals over the previous two seasons with the Panthers, registered his first points of the season for the Lightning. The two-goal effort was the 14th of his career.

Holmqvist, who has allowed just four goals in three games, stopped 30 shots for the Lightning.

"I felt good," Holmqvist said. "I was lucky a couple of times in the beginning, and that's what I need."

Making his first start of the season, Anderson made 21 saves for Florida, which had won three straight vs. Tampa Bay.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 1 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - CHRIS GRATTON 1 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JASON WARD) 9:03
    2ND PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 1 (OLLI JOKINEN) 4:04
    TAM - (PP) CHRIS GRATTON 2 (MICHEL OUELLET, PAUL RANGER)
    10:36
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: FLA - 0

    Oct 10 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - CHRIS GRATTON 1 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JASON WARD) 9:03
    2ND PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 1 (OLLI JOKINEN) 4:04
    TAM - (PP) CHRIS GRATTON 2 (MICHEL OUELLET, PAUL RANGER)
    10:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Oct 10 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PP) PAUL RANGER 1 (MICHEL OUELLET, SHANE O'BRIEN)
    10:36

    Panthers vs. LightningOct 10 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 1 (OLLI JOKINEN) 4:04

    Panthers vs. LightningOct 10 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - CHRIS GRATTON 1 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JASON WARD) 9:03
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 7 7
    TAM 6 6
    GOALIES: FLA - CRAIG ANDERSON
    TA

    Oct 10 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - CHRIS GRATTON 1 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JASON WARD) 9:03

    Panthers vs. LightningOct 10 7:52 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anil Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. LightningOct 10 5:41 AM