Point Overtime Magic Wins It Again For The Bolts

After blowing a two goal third period lead, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.  Center Brayden Point scored the game-winning goal nearly three minutes into overtime.  The loss ended the Panthers six game-winning streak, while the overtime win was the Lightning's six straight game that ended in overtime.  Lightning Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 44 saves & Center Yanni Gourde had three points.

The two teams combined for one shot on goal for the first minute of the game but it looked like the Lightning were going to get the first real scoring chance of the game when Center Steven Stamkos broke out on a two on one break but he was unable to get a shot on goal against Panthers Goalie Robert Luongo.  The Panthers followed that Lightning break with scoring chances of their own when both Center Nick Bjugstad & Center Alexander Barkov had point blank opportunities but Vasilevskiy sprawled & made glove save on one shot then was able to push the other shot away.

The Panthers had the next best scoring chance to take their zero off the board but again Vasilevskiy came up big this time against Panthers Center Jared McCann then on Left Wing Connor Brickley.  But not to be out-done the Lightning had not one but two golden chances to take their zero off the board when Stamkos missed wide on shot inside the left circle & Center J.T. Miller had a shot right in front of the Panthers net but Luongo fought off the shot with his right shoulder.

With both teams racking up the scoring chances, the Lightning was the first to get on the board when Point was trying to locate the puck from behind the Panthers net.  And while Point occupied the defense, Gourde picked the puck up from behind the net & beat Luongo on a wrap-around for his 23rd goal of the year.  And the Lightning made it a two goal lead when Gourde got into the scoring action again & set-up Miller who this time was able to get a backhand over Luongo for his 15th goal of the season.

Leading 2-0 the Lightning were looking to add to their lead but were called for a penalty when Stamkos was caught holding a Panthers player's stick.  The Lightning were able to kill off that man advantage.  But just over a minute after that Panthers power play, the visitors got the puck past Vasilevskiy when Bjugstad took a bad angle shot from the red line & banged the puck off of Vasilevskiy's back for his 12th goal of the year.

The trend of Tampa Bay being out-shot in periods continued in the first period with Florida winning the shots on net battle 18-9.  But already leading 2-1 the Lightning added to their lead less than 90 seconds into the second period, Gourde took a loose puck in the Panthers zone near the boards, spun around & shot a wrister past Luongo for his second goal of the night & 24th on the year.

The game went over 12 minutes without another goal until Bjugstad took a puck from the boards near the corner of the Lightning net & skated towards the goal.  Vasilevskiy looked like he was in good position to defend the shot but Bjugstad pushed his way to the front of the net & slid the puck past the Lightning netminder for his second goal of the night & 13th of the season.  But the Lightning again pushed the lead back to two less than three minutes later when Center Alex Killorn followed a shot from the point, grabbed a loose puck in front of the net & snapped a shot past Luongo for his 13th goal of the year.

As the game entered the third period, the Panthers in the first two periods out-shot the Lightning 32-21. And the Panthers first shot of the third period with just 21 seconds gone made the game a one goal game when Bjugstad picked up the puck after a shot from the point & wristed the puck past Vasilevskiy for his third goal of the game & his first career hat trick.  And after Lightning Defenseman Andrej Sustr was in the penalty box after being called for tripping, the Panthers were able to tie the score at four when Center Vincent Trocheck grabbed the puck in front of the Lightning net then shot the puck past Vasilevskiy.

The two teams had chances to untie the game in regulation but neither team was able to get the fifth goal until overtime when with the Lightning mounting pressure & after Lightning Defenseman Anton Stralman missed an open net, Point was able to grab the puck to the left of Luongo near the circle, worked his way past the Panthers defenseman then blasted a shot past the Panthers netminder to end the game.  The overtime goal was Point's third overtime goal of the year.

The Lightning will look for their fourth straight win when the New York Rangers visit Tampa Bay on Thursday night.  Coverage begins on 970 WFLA at 6:30 pm with the puck dropping at 7:30 pm.

SCORING SUMMARY:

1ST PERIOD:

1. TBL - Gourde 23rd (Sustr, Stralman) - 10:38

2. TBL - Miller 15th (Gourde) - 12:51

3. FLA - Bjugstad 12th (Ekblad) - 18:23

2ND PERIOD:

1. TBL - Gourde 24th (Unassisted) - 1:27

2. FLA - Bjugstad 13th (Dadonov, Yandle) - 13:35

3. TBL - Killorn 13th (Stamkos, Kucherov) - 16:07

3RD PERIOD:

1. FLA - Bjugstad 14th (Matheson, Barkov) - :21

2. FLA - PPG - Trocheck 25th (Yandle, Barkov) - 5:25

OVERTIME:

1. TBL - Point 27th - 2:49

PENALTY:

1ST PERIOD:

1. FLA -Haley (Fighting- 5 Min) - 5:07

2. TBL - Coburn (Fighting- 5 Min) - 5:07

3. TBL - Stamkos (Holding the Stick) - 15:04

2ND PERIOD:

NONE

3RD PERIOD:

1. TBL - Sustr (Tripping) - 3:53

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