The Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0) fell to the Florida Panthers (1-1-0) 5-4 on Saturday night in Sunrise.
With the two teams meeting for the second time in as many nights, the Lightning struck fast and furious early in this game. Nikita Kucherov scored at 3:30 in to make it 1-0 Tampa Bay, and Vladislav Namestnikov scored less than ninety seconds later on a power play to make it 2-0. From there, however, Florida began putting a ton of pressure on the Lightning, which led to a Evgenii Dadonov goal on the power play to cut the Lightning lead to 2-1. All told the Panthers outshot Tampa Bay 24-8 in the first period in spite of going into the first break trailing.
Florida continued to put pressure on Tampa Bay into the second period, and tied the game early when Nick Bjugstad made it 2-2. Brayden Point gave the Lightning the lead back at the 13:57 mark, but the pressure Florida put on Tampa Bay was relentless. After two periods Florida had forty (40) shots on goal, forcing Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make thirty-eight saves to keep the Lightning in front 3-2.
All of the pressure the Panthers put on the Lightning finally paid off during a dreadful 2:28 stretch for Tampa Bay in the third period. It started when Colton Sceviour scored to tie the game 3-3 at the 6:06 mark. At 6:42 in the third, Jared McCann got a puck past Vasilevskiy that was initially was ruled no goal due to goalie interference. However, Florida challenged the ruling and the call was overturned, giving the Panthers a 5-4 lead. Vincent Trocheck added the clincher at the 8:34 stretch, and even though the Lightning answered with a Tyler Johnson goal later on in the frame, it was not enough for the Lightning to secure the win.
Vasilevskiy finished with 43 saves on 48 shots in net, including 38 saves through the first two periods, while James Reimer had 26 saves on 30 shots in net for Florida.
The Lightning are off today before returning to Amalie Arena to take on the Washington Capitals on Monday night. Faceoff is set for 7:30 and you can hear it beginning with pregame at 6:30 on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. TBL - Kucherov - (Stamkos, Namestnikov) - 3:30
2. TBL - PPG - Namestnikov - (Stamkos, Kucherov) - 4:48
3. FLA - PPG - Dadonov - (Ekblad, Huberdeau) - 12:18
1. FLA - Bjugstad - (Dadonov, McCann) - 1:46
2. TBL - Point - (Palat) - 13:57
1. FLA - Sceviour - (Haley, Barkov) - 6:06
2. FLA - McCann - (Bjugstad) - 6:42
3. FLA - Trocheck - (Vrbata, Barkov) - 8:34
4. TBL - Johnson - (Gourde, Point) - 14:12
1. FLA - Trocheck - (High-sticking) - 4:26
2. TBL - Paquette - (Roughing) - 5:53
3. FLA - Petrovic - (Roughing) - 5:53
4. TBL - Johnson - (Slashing) - 7:51
5. TBL - Kucherov - (Tripping) - 11:12
6. TBL - Point - (Slashing) - 19:15
1. FLA - Haley - (Fighting) - 3:11
2. TBL - Dotchin - (Fighting) - 3:11
3. TBL - Callahan - (Holding) - 9:51
1. FLA - Huberdeau - (Cross Checking) - 1:40
2. TBL - Paquette - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 1:40
3. FLA - Yandle - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 1:40
4. FLA - Vrbata - (Slashing) - 9:24
5. FLA - Matheson - (Tripping) - 11:47
6. TBL - Kucherov - (Roughing) - 15:54
7. FLA - Barkov - (Roughing) - 15:54
8. FLA - Sceviour - (Delay of Game) - 19:12
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 30
Florida - 48