for this game

Jokinen ties Mellanby for Panthers' franchise points mark in win

Oct 14, 2007 - 5:02 AM
By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Captain Olli Jokinen picked a good time to grab a share of the Florida Panthers' all-time scoring lead.

Jokinen scored a power-play goal and added two assists as the Panthers built a big lead and held on for a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Entering three points behind Scott Mellanby for first place on the franchise points list, Jokinen pulled even at 354 when he beat goaltender Marc Denis with a one-timer from the slot during a 5-on-3 power play with 7:28 remaining in the third period.

Earlier in the final session, the Finn recorded his 198th assist as a Panther, passing Mellanby for second in club history. He also helped set up Richard Zednik's tally 2 1/2 minutes into the second period.

"It's nice to get something like that, but it's nicer to get the win," Jokinen said. "That was a tough one. We didn't want to let it slip away."

Jokinen believed Florida's ability to hang on against its Southeast Division rival was more important that any personal accomplishment.

"It says a lot about this team that we didn't let it get away from us," he said. "We held on and got the points, and that's what really matters."

Jokinen's goal stalled a furious comeback attempt by the Lightning, as Vaclav Prospal scored twice in a 2:09 span and Jan Hlavac tallied 44 seconds later to pull Tampa Bay within 5-4.

"It's frustrating because we came back on them in that third period and seemed to have it going our way," Prospal said. "We played in that third period like we should have been playing in the first period."

"(Prospal's first) goal just seemed to give them momentum. It gave them life," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "We have to have more poise in those situations and not let teams feel as though they can make a run at us."

Looking to avenge a tough 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Panthers came out aggressively, putting continuous pressure on the Lightning in the offensive zone. The effort paid off at 2:33, when Nathan Horton intercepted a clearing attempt by Chris Gratton on the power play and fired a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat goaltender Johan Holmqvist to the glove side for the early advantage.

Just over two minutes later, defenseman Ruslan Salei scored his first goal of the season when his shot from along the left wing boards surprised Holmqvist, who was out of position and reacted late after being partially screened by Rostislav Olesz at 4:39, giving Florida a 2-0 advantage.

"Early on in the game, we couldn't make very many plays," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We got a couple (of players) in the (penalty) box and they scored two goals."

With Tomas Vokoun - who posted his first shutout as a Panther against New Jersey on Thursday - turning aside all 13 shots he faced in the first period, Florida continued to outbattle Tampa Bay in the neutral zone.

The Panthers' tenacity and ability to force the play against the outmatched Lightning resulted in a commanding 3-0 lead late in the period, as Stephen Weiss took a perfect feed from Horton on a 2-on-1 rush and tapped the puck into a wide-open net from the doorstep with just 63 seconds remaining in the period.

"(Weiss) played his best game tonight, by far," Martin said. "He was a real force out there and really took control of the faceoffs."

The growing intensity of the rivalry reached a boiling point toward the end of the first, when Florida's Gregory Campbell and Tampa Bay's Shane O'Brien dropped the gloves in a brief but bitter scuffle behind the Panthers' net.

Florida overcame a 5-on-3 disadvantage right at the start of the second period and again capitalized in the offensive zone, with Zednik converting from close range at 2:34 for his first goal as a Panther. The tally prompted Tortorella to pull Holmqvist, who yielded four goals on 15 shots.

Holmqvist, however, did not think he played poorly.

"The first goal was a screen shot, top shelf, and the second was a tip, top shelf," he said. "I tried to battle back, but it's one of those nights."

Tampa Bay finally broke through against Vokoun just 20 seconds later as tough guy Andre Roy beat Vokoun to the stick side with a one-timer.

"We started too late to play up to our capability," said Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier, who had two assists. "We should have been using that approach from the very start of the game."

Vokoun continued to be challenged by the Lightning, who unleashed 17 shots in the middle session. However, Tampa Bay was unable to convert on three power-play opportunities in the period and trailed by three after 40 minutes.

"We got a little rattled and were just trying to preserve the win," Vokoun said. "We have to find that fine line between playing good hockey and putting teams away, and just playing it out to get a successful result."

Defenseman Cory Murphy recorded two assists for Florida, which won five of the eight meetings between the intrastate rivals last season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 3 4
    FLORIDA 3 1 2 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 3 (UNASSISTED) 2:33
    FLA - RUSLAN SALEI 1 (STEPHEN WEISS, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 4:39
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 1 (NATHAN HORTON, RUSLAN SALEI) 18:57
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 1 (VILLE PELTONEN, OLLI J

    Oct 13 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 4
    FLORIDA 6
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) OLLI JOKINEN 2 (CORY MURPHY) 12:32

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 4
    FLORIDA 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - JAN HLAVAC 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, BRAD LUKOWICH) 8:44

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    FLORIDA 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 5 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, PAUL RANGER) 8:00

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    FLORIDA 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) VACLAV PROSPAL 4 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, BRAD
    RICHARDS) 5:51

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 5
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) JOZEF STUMPEL 1 (OLLI JOKINEN, CORY MURPHY) 1:26
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 1
    FLORIDA 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 3 (UNASSISTED) 2:33
    FLA - RUSLAN SALEI 1 (STEPHEN WEISS, ROSTISLAV OLESZ) 4:39
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 1 (NATHAN HORTON, RUSLAN SALEI) 18:57
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 1 (VILLE PEL

    Oct 13 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 4
    2ND PRD: TAM - ANDRE ROY 1 (CRAIG MACDONALD, SHANE O'BRIEN) 2:58

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 4
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 1 (VILLE PELTONEN, OLLI JOKINEN) 2:34

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    FLORIDA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 3 (UNASSISTED) 2:33
    FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 2 (RUSLAN SALEI, STEPHEN WEISS) 4:39
    FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 1 (NATHAN HORTON, RUSLAN SALEI) 18:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL

    Oct 13 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 3
    1ST PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 1 (NATHAN HORTON, RUSLAN SALEI) 18:57

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 2
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 2 (RUSLAN SALEI, STEPHEN WEISS) 4:39

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 7:18 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 3 (UNASSISTED) 2:33

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 7:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    six4three Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. PanthersOct 13 10:25 AM