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Nikita Kucherov's goal in OT lifts Lightning past Panthers

Nikita Kucherov scores in overtime to lift Lightning past Panthers in preseason contest.

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) -- Nikita Kucherov's goal at 4:04 of overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 preseason win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.


Tim Thomas, signed to a one-year deal by the Panthers on Thursday, started the game and stopped nine of 10 shots. Jacob Markstrom replaced Thomas and stopped 13 of 15.


"I think it was a necessary step to do it now rather than waiting," Thomas said. "I feel ready now."


Kucherov's goal capped a rally from a 2-0 deficit for Tampa Bay.


Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik also scored for the Lightning.


Panik and Martin St. Louis exchanged great passes on the game-tying goal at 6:30 of the third period.


Florida took a 2-0 lead on two power-play goals by Jonathan Huberdeau.


Ben Bishop earned the victory and made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.