NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Florida
(Sunday, March 21st)
Final Score: Florida 5, Tampa Bay 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Nathan Horton and Cory Stillman each had a goal and an assist to help the Florida Panthers defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-2, at BankAtlantic Center.
Florida center Stephen Weiss potted his 100th career goal 1:55 after sensational sophomore Steven Stamkos scored on the power play to pull Tampa Bay within 3-2 at 2:08 of the third period.
"It's nice to contribute and score goals," Weiss said. "I got a great pass from (defenseman Bryan Allen) and was able to bang it in."
Radek Dvorak added an insurance tally in the late stages of regulation for the Panthers, who finished 1-2-1 on a four-game homestand.
Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen made 29 saves.
Steve Downie had the other goal for Tampa Bay, which has lost five straight and 12 of its last 14 games. Mike Smith was beaten five times on 40 shots to take the loss.
"The biggest (problem) is we're allowing too many goals in front of our net," said Tampa Bay head coach Rick Tocchet. "We just got to get tougher in front of our net. It's really costing us."
The Panthers (69) and Lightning (68) are seven and eight points, respectively, behind Boston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
An errant pass by Allen led to an early goal by Downie, but the Panthers scored three times in the last 5:48 of the first period to grab a 3-1 lead.
Florida drew even on the power play. Horton unloaded a slap shot from the point that Stamkos inadvertently redirected between his netminder's legs.
Stillman beat Smith on the backhand with 1:32 remaining, just 46 seconds after David Booth converted a Byron Bitz feed.
Tampa Bay held a 12-8 shot advantage in a scoreless middle frame.
Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard collected two assists...Florida is 13-2-2 at home against the Lightning over the past five seasons...Both clubs are in action Tuesday. The Panthers begin a three-game road trip in Toronto, while the Lightning host Carolina.
03/21 23:48:26 ET