MacKenzie Weegar, Mason Marchment, Patric Hornqvist & Frank Vatrano each scored and rookie goaltender Spencer Knight made 36 saves in his playoff debut as the Florida Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Monday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
The Lightning still lead the series 3-2 and Game 6 will be Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.
The end result wasn't what Tampa Bay wanted, but they did get off to a fast start.
Following a fantastic rush down the right wing, Blake Coleman feathered a pass to the middle of the ice that Ross Colton found and snapped past Knight to put the Lightning up 1-0 just 53 seconds into the contest.
The score stayed that way until the second with Florida pushing to find the equalizer.
They did exactly that when Weegar found a loose puck off the faceoff and snapped one high over Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy at 6:19 of the second period, and then the Panthers took the lead for the first time when Marchment scored off of a beautiful feed from Aleksander Barkov at 16:55.
The Cats pushed their lead to two early in the third period when Hornqvist scored on the power play just 35 seconds in and Vatrano sealed the deal with an empty-netter with 14.8 seconds left.
Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of the 37 shots he saw on the evening.
- Tampa Bay - Colton - (Coleman, McDonagh) - 0:53
- Florida - Weegar - (Huberdeau, Bennett) - 6:19
- Florida - Marchment - (Barkov, Weegar) - 16:55
- Florida - PPG - Hornqvist - (Barkov, Huberdeau) - 0:35
- Florida - ENG - Vatrano - (Hornqvist) - 19:45
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Hooking) - 2:53
- Tampa Bay - McDonagh - (Roughing) - 7:18
- Florida - Huberdeau - (Hooking) - 7:26
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Interference) - 10:36
- Florida - Marchment - (Boarding) - 15:09
- Tampa Bay - Schenn - (Holding) - 19:01
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - (Cross Checking) - 19:49
- Tampa Bay - Maroon - (Misconduct) - 19:49
- Tampa Bay - Coleman - (Roughing) - 19:49
- Florida - Montour - (Cross Checking) - 19:49
PHOTO : Getty Images