Panthers Knock Off Lightning In Home Opener

The Florida Panthers (1-1) knocked off the Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1) 4-3 on Saturday night in Sunrise.

The Panthers got the scoring started in the second period, as Mike Hoffman came up with two nearly identical power play goals under two minutes apart midway through the frame. After Noel Acciara scored to make it 3-0, the Lightning came through with a goal from Gemel Smith to break the shutout bid and would go into the third down 3-1.

In the third period, Mike Hoffman hit a goal to give him the hat trick in the first minute and lift the Panthers to a 4-3 lead. Though the Bolts got goals from Steven Stamkos and Mathieu Joseph to pull within 4-3, that was as close as Tampa Bay would get, thanks in large part to Sergei Bobrovsky who made 32 saves in 35 opportunities and made the stops down the stretch to clinch the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy went 24-for-28 in net for Tampa Bay in the losing effort.

The Lightning are back in action on Sunday night in the second game of a back-to-back when they head to Carolina to battle the Hurricanes. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 PM and coverage begins at 4:30 PM on News Radio WFLA.

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