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LIGHTNING AT PANTHERS cap

Some news before we get into the capsule. Just got back from the rink -- OK, the arena -- and found out some stuff. Really. Alex Auld starts in net tonight for Florida, Jacques wouldn't get into if that means Belfour goes tomorrow. Tampa will give backup goalie Johan Holmqvist his first start of the season. Marc Denis, John Tortorella tells us, will be in net tomorrow night in Tampa.

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TONIGHT: LIGHTNING AT PANTHERS
• When: 7:30, BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise.

• TV/radio: FSNF; WQAM (560).

• Series -- all-time: Panthers lead 30-20, 10 ties. Last season: Panthers won six of eight meetings.

• Game day report -- Tampa Bay: The Lightning comes into the game fourth in the Southeast Division at 1-2 after a 1-0 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday. They play host to the Panthers on
Saturday night. . . . C Ryan Craig leads Tampa Bay with three  points -- all goals. . . . Goalie Marc Denis (who came over from Columbus during the offseason) has played every minute of
all three games. He has saved just 89 percent of the shots he has faced, but has a good goals-against average (1.99).

Florida: The Panthers are 2-0 at home and 0-1-1 on the road. The shootout loss came at Toronto. . . . Florida won the last meeting in this series, 6-3 on April 9. . . . Olli Jokinen and Gary Rob-
erts had two goals each in Florida's 6-3 victory over Carolina  on Wednesday. . . . C Chris Gratton played for the Lightning from 1993-97 and 1998-2000. He was Tampa Bay's top pick
(third overall) in 1993. . . . C Joe Nieuwendyk (right leg) is out for at least the next two games.

-- GEORGE RICHARDS

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