Florida (28-34-4) at Tampa Bay (45-21-6)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Tampa, FL
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Apr 1, 2004
  • TV: FSFL, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t be content with the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They’re hungry for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Trying to catch Detroit for the league’s best record, the Lightning hope to avoid a letdown when they host the Florida Panthers at the St. Pete Times Forum.

After Detroit’s 3-2 win over Columbus on Wednesday, the Lightning fell three points behind the Red Wings with just two games remaining. While it’s still possible for Tampa Bay to finish with the most points in the NHL, the Lightning must first focus on clinching the top seed in the East for the first time in franchise history.

The Lightning hold a three-point lead over second-place Boston, which has three games remaining.

On Monday, Tampa Bay had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 5-4 overtime loss to Ottawa despite two late goals by Dave Andreychuk.

“We got a point, but it’s still a loss,” Lightning center Tim Taylor said. “Our goals aren’t the Eastern Conference anymore. Our goals are the Presidents’ Trophy and it looks with just getting a point tonight we won’t be able to do it now.”

The Lightning will close out the regular season at home Saturday against Atlanta

The Panthers are also coming off a 5-4 loss to the Senators on Wednesday. Olli Jokinen, Christian Berglund, Mike Van Ryn and Juraj Kolnik scored for Florida.

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stopped 30 of 35 shots, setting an NHL single-season record for most shots faced with 2,443, breaking the mark of 2,438 set by Toronto s Felix Potvin in 1996-97.

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