Series (Game 3 of 4)

Florida leads 4-0

Game 1: Friday, November 7th
Game 2: Saturday, November 15th
Game 3: Thursday, February 12th
Game 4: Friday, February 20th

Penguins 1

(11-38-3, 30 pts)

Panthers 5

(20-23-3, 54 pts)

7:30 PM ET, February 12, 2004

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
PIT 0 1 01
FLA 0 4 15

N. Hagman (Panthers - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Cullen (Panthers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

D. Hordichuk (Panthers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Florida 5, Pittsburgh 1

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Niklas Hagman and the Florida Panthers took full advantage of a timely game against lowly Pittsburgh.

Hagman ended a 30-game drought with two goals, helping Florida extend Pittsburgh's franchise-record losing streak to 13 games with a 5-1 victory Thursday night.

"It's been a long time since I've scored," said Hagman, whose last goal was on Nov. 16. "I was happy that I managed to get another one, too. Hopefully, it continues now."

Darcy Hordichuk, Olli Jokinen and Valeri Bure also scored for the Panthers, who have won three in a row for the first time this season. The victory was Florida's eighth straight against Pittsburgh.

"It was huge," said goalie Roberto Luongo, who stopped 34 shots. "We knew they were going to play desperate hockey. It was important for us to have a good game and not allow them anything."

Ryan Malone scored a short-handed goal for the Penguins, who haven't won since beating Philadelphia 2-1 on Jan. 12.

"I don't know if it will all come together, but certainly positive play or a win certainly will help stop the bleeding," Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said.

Pittsburgh goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin was pulled after Hagman's second goal made it 3-1 with 2:02 left in the second period. Aubin gave up three goals on 29 shots before being replaced by Sebastien Caron.

After a scoreless first period, Florida set a franchise record with 26 shots on goal in the second and took a 4-1 lead.

"We've got a lot of leaders, they talked (after the first period) about how this was an important game," Hordichuk said. "It was a great opportunity to get a victory. We needed it and we got it."

Hagman broke a 1-1 tie on a short-handed goal after Aubin got caught out of his net trying to play the puck. After Matt Cullen stole the puck from Aubin in the corner, he passed in front to Hagman, who shot it into the open net for his first goal since Nov. 16.

It was a league-high 13th short-handed goal the Penguins have allowed this season.

Hagman increased the lead when he beat Aubin with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.

"When you score a goal, it gives you a little more boost, where you might try to do some different things when you've got some confidence in yourself," Hagman said. "For me, not having scored in a long time, it was a big boost."

Jokinen ended the second-period scoring outburst when he put a rebound past Caron on a power play with 7.7 seconds left.

Hordichuk scored a rare goal to give Florida a 1-0 lead. His shot off a nice spinning move in front of the net was only his second goal of the season and third in 109 NHL games.

The Panthers got the first 10 shots in the period before the Penguins' first two resulted in Malone's goal. Luongo made a pad save on Eric Meloche's shot on a two-on-one, but Malone backhanded the rebound into the open net.

Game notes

Florida's previous record for shots in a period was 22, accomplished twice (Dec. 26, 2001, at Atlanta, and March 17, 1998, vs. Vancouver). ... Florida C Mike Green earned his first NHL point in his third game when he assisted on Bure's third-period goal. ... With Florida G Steve Shields scratched because of a minor foot injury, Travis Scott was recalled from San Antonio of the AHL to serve as Luongo's backup. ... Pittsburgh D Robert Scuderi, recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, played in his first NHL game. ... D Ric Jackman, acquired in a trade with Toronto on Wednesday, made his Penguins debut. ... Penguins D Martin Strbak sat out with a broken right foot sustained when he was hit by a shot in Tuesday night in a loss to Boston. Strbak is expected to miss about a month. ... Dan Marino dropped the puck in a ceremonial faceoff as part of Dan Marino Foundation Night.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press