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Panthers 3, Lightning 2

September 27, 2000

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) _ Ivan Novoseltsev scored twice and Rob Niedermayer had three assists as the Florida Panthers concluded their first winning preseason with a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Paul Mara, who had not scored in the preseason, scored both goals for the Lightning.

Panthers goalie Sean Gauthier, who had an assist, preserved the win with two standout saves during a Lightning 5-on-3 power play in the third period.

Only 88 minutes in infractions were whistled, marking a departure from the penalty-marred battle between these Southeast Division foes on Sept. 21, a 2-1 Panthers win in which the teams combined for five game misconducts and 213 penalty minutes.

The Panthers (5-0-1) set a franchise record for preseason victories, including two against Tampa Bay (1-3-1).

Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier was scoreless in his first preseason game. Lecavalier, who hyperextended his left elbow in training camp, was kept out of previous games as a precaution.

The teams traded first-period goals with Mara beating Gauthier to the glove side on a feed in front from Dwayne Hay at 12:53, and Novoseltsev stuffing the puck home with three seconds left in the period.

In the opening minute of the second period, Florida’s Ray Whitney converted Niedermayer’s dump-in for the go-ahead goal. Niedermayer also assisted on Novoseltsev’s fifth goal on a power play midway through the period.

Mara scored his second goal from the slot with 5:32 left in the third period.

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