Final

Series (Game 2 of 2)

Minnesota leads 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, October 15th
Panthers1Final
Wild4
Game 2: Wednesday, March 19th
Wild3Final
Panthers1

Wild 3

(37-25-1, 85 pts)

Panthers 1

(23-30-9, 67 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 19, 2003

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
MIN 2 0 13
FLA 0 1 01

D. Roloson (Wild - G): Saves: 31, Save Pct.: .969

M. Gaborik (Wild - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

J. Hurme (Panthers - G): Saves: 19, Save Pct.: .950

Panthers winless in past 11 tries at home

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Panthers finally scored a goal at home, but it wasn't enough to earn them a win.

Dupuis
Dupuis

Viktor Kozlov snapped Florida's long scoring drought, but the Panthers were beaten 3-1 by the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night -- stretching their franchise-record home winless streak to 11 games.

"It's inexcusable to see them play away from this building and then to see how they play in here,'' Panthers coach Mike Keenan said. "They just haven't grasped or won't grasp the idea of what has to be done.''

Pascal Dupuis had a goal and an assist for the Wild. And Antti Laaksonen and Sergei Zholtok scored first-period goals for Minnesota, which snapped a two-game winless streak.

Florida is 0-8-2-1 during its home slide and hasn't won at home since beating Carolina 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 25.

Kozlov's goal snapped the Panthers' home scoreless streak at 189 minutes, 10 seconds. Florida was shut out in its previous two home games, losing 4-0 to Buffalo and Montreal.

Florida outshot Minnesota 32-26.

Dwayne Roloson, who came in tied for second in the NHL in goals-against average and third in save percentage, made 31 saves for the Wild.

"He played very well, very solid,'' Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He kept us in the game at different times. He's the reason why we won.''

Florida's Roberto Luongo was pulled with 4:29 left in the first period after Zholtok's goal made it 2-0. He faced six shots before being replaced. Luongo was replaced by Jani Hurme, who stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced.

"It was tough for Luongo to make saves,'' Zholtok said. "You know Keenan, he likes to change goalies. It worked pretty well for them; Jani played a great game.''

Minnesota hit the post twice, on Sergei Zyuzin's wrist shot in the second period and on Marian Gaborik's breakaway in the third. Florida's Jaroslav Bednar hit the post on a wrist shot in the game's first minute.

"We had some pretty good shots in tight. Their goalie, there's no rebounds at all from him,'' Keenan said. "Zero. Every time you're in tight, we had two or three chances, you expect a rebound and there was nothing there.''

Laaksonen gave Minnesota the lead at 11:05 of the first period when he took a pass from Gaborik and skated in alone on Luongo. Laaksonen quickly shifted the puck from his backhand to his forehand and flicked a shot over Luongo's right shoulder.

Zholtok scored at 15:31 of the first period after getting to a beautiful cross-ice pass from Dupuis. Skating near the side boards, Dupuis fired a pass across the crease, and Zholtok put the puck between Luongo's legs.

"The first 10 minutes they only had one shot, then all of a sudden they had a few scoring chances,'' Luongo said. "It wasn't an easy situation. At the same time I have to do a better job of staying focused when those things happen.''

Kozlov scored at 19:01 of the second period when he took a pass from Niklas Hagman just inside the Minnesota zone and beat Roloson.

"Before that, they were coming at us pretty good,'' Roloson said. "After they got the goal they started coming even harder, but we were able to weather the storm and get out of the period. "At the beginning of the third period, we were able to get back to our game.''

Game notes


Minnesota is 18-0-1 when leading after one period and 26-0-1 when ahead after two. ... Luongo tied John Vanbiesbrouck's single-season Florida record by making his 60th appearance. ... Minnesota didn't get its first shot on goal until 8:13 elapsed. ... Minnesota D Brad Bombardir missed his 11th consecutive game because of back spasms. He is day-to-day. ... Despite a dislocated left shoulder sustained Sunday, Florida LW Marcus Nilson maintained his streak of never missing a game because of injury since entering the NHL in the 1998-99 season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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