Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat & Yanni Gourde each scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Tuesday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise to take a 2-0 series lead in their best-of-seven First Round matchup.
The Lightning got on the board first at the 4:52 mark of the opening period after a Stamkos pass went off of former Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman and in to put the visitors up 1-0.
Tampa Bay doubled their lead on a fantastic effort from their top line.
Kucherov gloved it down and quickly fed it to a streaking Point coming down the left wing. Point then made a slick move around .... and rang a shot off the far post. Palat picked up the loose puck and fired it past Panthers netminder Chris Driedger to make it 2-0 at 14:57 of the first.
It looked like the score would stay that way heading into the second intermission, but Florida's Mason Marchment re-directed a pass from another former Lightning player, Carter Verhaeghe, at the 14:21 mark of the second period to cut the Tampa Bay lead to 2-1.
The Panthers pushed hard for the equalizer, but Gourde's empty-net goal with 1:25 left sealed the deal for the Lightning.
Driedger made 26 saves in defeat.
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Killorn, Savard) - 4:52
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Point, Kucherov) - 14:57
- Florida - Marchment - (Verhaeghe, Barkov) - 14:21
- Tampa Bay - ENG - Gourde - (Palat) - 18:35
- Florida - Weegar - (Delay of Game) - 0:31
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Holding) - 11:33
- Florida - Weegar - (Roughing) - 20:00
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Tripping) - 1:08
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - (Tripping) - 10:06
- Tampa Bay - Cernak - (Roughing) - 18:53
- Florida - Lomberg - (Roughing) - 18:53
- Florida - Lomberg - (Misconduct) - 18:53
- Florida - Marchment - (Roughing) - 18:53
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Thursday night as they head home to Amalie Arena to take on the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of this First Round playoff matchup. Puck drop is slated for 6:30pm with the pregame show starting at 5:30pm on NewsRadio WFLA.
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