Panthers 4, Lightning 3, SO

The Florida Panthers picked up a character victory.

Stephen Weiss scored in the fourth round of a shootout to help

the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday

night.

Radek Dvorak scored on a penalty shot, and Dmitry Kulikov and

Shawn Matthias also scored in regulation for the Panthers, who

stopped a three-game losing streak. Florida went 0 for 4 on the

power play and has failed to score in 37 straight

opportunities.

”We needed that, probably, more than they did,” Florida coach

Peter DeBoer said. ”We played some tight games this week and

managed to find a way to lose them, so it was an important two

points for us. I think the guys wanted to make sure that we worked

for 60 minutes to get an opportunity to win the game.”

Teddy Purcell, Dana Tyrell and Sean Bergenheim scored for the

Lightning, who have lost two in a row after a five-game winning

streak.

”I thought our effort was there,” Tampa Bay right wing Martin

St. Louis said. ”We gave them a couple of their goals. We didn’t

make it hard enough for them to get their goals.”

Both teams were coming off shutout losses Friday. Tampa Bay was

beaten 6-0 by Washington, while the Panthers were blanked 3-0 by

the New York Rangers.

”I thought we played really well for 60 minutes, as did they,”

Weiss said. ”We competed back and forth all night.”

Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves and stopped all four

Lightning attempts in the shootout, while Tampa Bay’s Dan Ellis

stopped 24 shots.

Florida went up 3-2 on Matthias’ goal at 8:31 of third, but

Bergenheim pulled the Lightning even with backhand rebound goal

with 6:45 left.

Purcell put the Lightning up 1-0 with a power-play goal from the

low slot off a pass from Steven Stamkos at 10:21 of the first.

Stamkos has 18 assists and 39 points this season.

Tyrell made it 2-0 on a rebound goal with 9:48 left in the

second.

Dvorak got the Panthers to 2-1 on a short-handed penalty-shot

goal at 12:22 of the second. It ended Florida’s goal drought at 130

minutes, 8 seconds.

”That turned the game around, obviously,” Lightning coach Guy

Boucher said.

The Lightning have allowed six short-handed goals this

season.

Kulikov tied at 2 from the low right circle 3:08 into the third.

He stopped a personal stretch of not scoring a goal in 65 straight

games, dating exactly one year to Nov. 27, 2009, against

Toronto.

”It’s tough when you give up a lead like that,” Ellis said.

”We’ve got to bear down and close that game.”

NOTES: Stamkos has at least one point in 20 of 24 games this

season. … Florida D Jason Garrison was back in the lineup after

missing two games because of a groin strain. … Tampa Bay LW Simon

Gagne (neck) is still not ready to return and sat out his 18th

consecutive game. … LW David Booth scored on the Panthers’ other

penalty shot this season, beating Montreal’s Carey Price on Oct.

30.