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Associated Press
4/6/2007 10:58:27 PM


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist, and Ville Peltonen set up three goals to lead the Florida Panthers past the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-2 Friday night.

The loss before a sellout crowd, combined with Atlanta's 4-1 victory at Carolina, halted Tampa Bay's bid for its third Southeast Division championship in four seasons.

The Panthers chased Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist with four goals in their first 12 shots. Backup Marc Denis took over with 1:48 left in the first period.

Nathan Horton opened the scoring three minutes in with his career-high 31st goal. He has nine goals and three assists in eight games against Tampa Bay this season.

Noah Welch, David Booth and Jay Bouwmeester also scored in the first period, while Panthers goalie Ed Belfour faced only three shots at the other end.

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