Lightning jumps on Panthers

Published September 25, 2005

TAMPA - It was only an exhibition game, but the Lightning looked ready to defend its Stanley Cup with a 5-0 victory against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"That just shows why they are the Stanley Cup champions," Florida coach Jacques Martin said.

The Lightning jumped on the Panthers in the first period, scoring three goals and outshooting them 14-2.

Martin Cibak scored twice and the Lightning (2-2 in the preseason) also got goals from Pavel Kubina, Dave Andreychuk and Dmitry Afanasenkov.

Sean Burke, who received a nasty cut on the side of this nose in the second period when teammate Dan Boyle's stick slipped through his face mask, made 26 saves for the shutout.

"Just the ugly getting uglier," Burke said about the cut. "I challenged myself to concentrate hard for a full 60-minute game and I was pleased with that."

Coach John Tortorella said he was "very pleased" with the Lightning's effort, but expressed concerns that officials already are backing off calling some obstruction penalties.

"I'm worried," Tortorella said. "It looks like the standard has been moved a bit already. ... But I believe we just have to stay with it."

SHOOTOUT SHOWDOWN: The Panthers won the shootout 1-0 on a goal by Olli Jokinen. Florida goalie Roberto Luongo stopped Brad Richards, Vinny Lecavalier and then made a spectacular glove save on Marty St. Louis.

TROUBLE SHOOTER: Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, met with the Lightning coaches and players before the game to go over the new rules and answer any questions.

Campbell might have the most thankless job in the NHL. Whenever general manager and coaches have a problem with the way officials call games, he usually gets a midnight telephone call filled with whines, groans and complaints.

He knows the league will go through an adjustment period, particularly with the renewed crackdown on obstruction calls, but so far, everyone seems to be on the same page.

"We've let (everyone involved) know, "Hey, help the game cope with the change in culture,' " Campbell said.