The Tampa Bay Lightning (36-16-3) fell to the Florida Panthers (36-14-5) 5-1 on Saturday night in Sunrise.
The Panthers got the scoring started in the first period when Alex Wennberg scored at the 11:44 mark of the first period. They added on in the second period when Sam Bennett scored before Tampa Bay tried to answer with a Luke Schenn goal. The Panthers had an answer, as Alex Wennberg and Jonathan Huberdeau scored two minutes apart in the second period to build a 4-1 lead.
In the third period Alex Wennberg scored at the 13:38 mark to secure the hat trick and clinch the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy took the loss in net, saving thirty shots on thirty-five attempts.
The Panthers and Lightning meet in the final game of the regular season on Monday night in Sunrise. The game has major playoff implications, as the Panthers need only one point to secure home ice advantage in the first round matchup between the two teams. If the Lightning win in regulation they would have home ice advantage - if they go to overtime or lose in regulation, that advantage would go to Florida
Puck drop Monday night is scheduled for 7 PM in Sunrise - pregame coverage beings at 6:30 on News Radio WFLA.
PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES