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In Search of Some Big D, Panthers off to Dallas: Calgary Flames 5, Florida Panthers 2 (FINAL)


CALGARY -- The Panthers had another rough Alberta night on Sunday, dropping the final Canadian exhibition game of the preseason 5-2 to the host Flames at the Saddledome.

With former Panther defenseman Jay Bouwmeester playing against his old team for the first time since last June's trade, the Flames took over play in the second and outscored Florida 5-1 after David Booth's first period goal.

Bouwmeester factored into the scoring with an assist. Former Florida captain Olli Jokinen was the game's second star with a power play goal in the third and two assists.

Florida led 1-0 going into the second after Booth opened the scoring at 5:19 of the first. In the second, Calgary got three goals before Stephen Weiss opened the third with a goal 48 seconds in to make it 3-2. Calgary then got a pair of goals within a 25 second span as Jokinen scored with fan favorite Theo Fleury following.

Tomas Vokoun got the second straight start in net and played the full 60 minutes for the first time in the preseason. Vokoun made 31 saves off 36 shots. Florida, outshot 22-12 through the first two periods and 36-26 overall, were playing without its top four defensemen. Rookie Dmitry Kulikov also did not play.

The Panthers power play, one of the worst in the league for most of last season, was 0-for-5. Calgary went 2-for-3 with a man advantage.

The Panthers left Calgary on Sunday night and flew to Dallas where the team will practice at the Stars facility on Monday afternoon. The Panthers play the Stars Tuesday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas, the team's seventh game in nine nights.

After winning its first two exhibition games in Canada (both against the Senators, in Halifax and Ottawa), Florida dropped its past three (at Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary).

Florida returns home Wednesday morning and will play host to the Stars at BankAtlantic Center later that night. Wednesday's game will be Florida's only preseason contest in the Sunshine State. The Panthers depart Friday for a weeklong trip to Finland where the team will play two more exhibitions before opening the regular season Oct. 2-3 with games against Chicago in Helsinki.