Ryan Lomberg scored 5:56 into overtime as the visiting Florida Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena to cut the Lightning's series lead to 2-1.
Tampa Bay was up 5-3 heading into the third, but Patric Hornqvist scored a power play goal 75 seconds into the period and then Gustav Forsling scored with 3:07 left to send the game to overtime.
Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period with Sam Bennett -- who was suspended for Game 2 after his dangerous hit on Blake Coleman in Game 1 -- and former Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas scoring 2:34 apart, and Tampa Bay went into the first intermission trailing by a pair.
The Lightning answered right back in a big way, and it all started with a player who was certainly well past due.
Anthony Cirelli scored his first goal in 29 games at the 1:57 mark of the second to cut the Panthers lead in half and give a jolt of energy to the home crowd.
The fans at Amalie got even louder when Ross Colton got knocked down to his knees, got up, and roofed one over the glove of Florida goalie Chris Driedger to tie the score at two in a fantastic display of determination at 5:48, and then the captain Steven Stamkos gave Tampa Bay their first lead of the night after he tipped a Ryan McDonagh past Driedger at 8:38.
To Florida's credit, they didn't back down, and responded with a power play goal by Alexander Wennberg at 12:34 following an interference call on Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta to tie the score at three.
That lead didn't last long as both Brayden Point & Alex Killorn scored on the power play exactly four minutes apart to put Tampa Bay ahead 5-3 heading into the second intermission, but Florida bounced back and got back in the game & the series.
Coming out for the third, Florida made a change in goal and replaced Driedger with the veteran Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky stopped all nine shots he saw on the evening. Driedger made 17 saves on 22 shots.
Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 41 of the 47 shots he saw on the evening.
- Florida - Bennett - (Huberdeau, Tippett) - 4:31
- Florida - Gudas - (Forslund, Huberdeau) - 7:05
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (Hedman, Killorn) - 1:57
- Tampa Bay - Colton - (Coleman) - 5:48
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (McDonagh) - 8:38
- Florida - PPG - Wennberg - (Weegar, Tippett) - 12:34
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Point - (Kucherov, Hedman) - 14:17
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Killorn - (Hedman, Point) - 18:17
- Florida - PPG - Hornqvist - (Huberdeau, Barkov) - 1:15
- Florida - Forsling - (Wennberg, Hornqvist) - 16:53
- Florida - Duclair - (Cross Checking) - 19:37
- Florida - Lomberg - (Unassisted) - 5:56
- Tampa Bay - Rutta - (Interference) - 10:38
- Florida - Bennett - (Roughing) - 11:17
- Tampa Bay - Coleman - (Roughing) - 11:17
- Florida - Marchment - (Hooking) - 13:46
- Florida - Gudas - (Hooking) - 16:48
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Boarding) - 0:41
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they host the Florida Panthers here at Amalie Arena for Game 4 of their first-round matchup. Puck drop is slated for 12:30pm with the pregame show starting at 11:30am on NewsRadio WFLA.
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