Linemates Valeri Bure and Kristian Huselius each had a goal and
an assist to help Florida build a three-goal lead, but the Panthers
had to withstand a third-period rally to extend their winning
streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins to seven games with a 3-2
"We're happy that we won, but we're not happy with the way we
played," said goaltender Roberto Luongo. "We have to be more
"The most important thing is the two points, and we've got to
be happy with that, but we still have some work to do."
The NHL's youngest team seemed to have control of the game
before Milan Kraft scored at 6:16 of the third period and Drake
Berehowsky made it 3-2 with a goal during a two-man advantage 2:14
"We had a 3-0 lead and made two plays that almost cost us the
hockey game," said general manager-coach Rick Dudley, 2-1 since
taking over after Mike Keenan was fired on Nov. 9. "One time we
didn't get the puck in deep, and one time we didn't get the puck
out of our zone. But we settled down after that and did a good job
of controlling them in scoring areas."
Olli Jokinen added his team-leading seventh goal -- and scored
for the sixth straight game against Pittsburgh -- as Florida built
its three-goal lead on the way to its second win over the Penguins
in nine days. The Panthers jumped to a 2-0 lead before beating
Pittsburgh 6-3 Nov. 7.
"Getting down early is so tough, because then you have to play
a different way, and so much harder," Penguins defenseman Brooks
Orpik said. "They can just sit back and conserve their energy."
Jokinen scored when he won a faceoff back to Pavel Trnka at the
left point and then backhanded the puck past Sebastien Caron when
Trnka's shot bounced off Niklas Hagman with 44 seconds left in the
A wide-open Huselius scored his third of the season from the
slot 1:24 into the second period when he converted Bure's pass from
the right wing for his first goal in 15 games.
"We created some good chances, and when we do that we have to
put the puck in the net," Huselius said. "If we keep shooting the
puck, we're going to score some goals."
Huselius returned the favor with 5:21 left in the period,
working a pretty give-and-go with Bure, who skated past Brian
Holzinger and deked Caron before scoring his fourth goal of the
"I just got the puck to Kristian, and I didn't know what he was
going to do with it -- he has so many moves," said Bure. "He
slowed the play down and basically gave me a breakaway."
The Penguins played without Mario Lemieux (hip), Dan Focht
(broken finger), Rico Fata (hamstring) and Steve Webb. Lemieux, who
has missed six games, hopes to return to the lineup in the next
week. ... Florida has six players injured, including Viktor Kozlov
(jaw), Matt Cullen (groin), Mathieu Biron (hand), Byron Ritchie
(knee), Andreas Lilja (shoulder) and Darcy Hordichuk (foot). ...
Vaclav Nedorost, acquired from Colorado in July, appeared in his
first game for the Panthers. He had played two games with San
Antonio of the AHL while rehabilitating from offseason shoulder