Lightning 2, Panthers 1, OT
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a man advantage for a total of 15
seconds during regulation Friday night.
It was a different story in overtime, and it made all the
Steven Stamkos scored a power-play goal 2:29 into the extra
period to lift the Lightning past the Florida Panthers 2-1.
Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov was given an interference penalty 48
seconds into the overtime. Tampa Bay missed several good chances
with the 4-on-3 advantage before Stamkos fired a slapshot from the
top of the left circle past Theodore for the winner.
”It’s a great feeling. You know the game is over and you get
the two points,”
Stamkos said. ”To score in overtime, there’s no better
Stamkos’ 12th goal meant the Panthers had to settle for seven of
eight points on their four-game homestand.
”They had a full two minutes, and that’s hard to kill,”
Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. ”They had a lot of talented
players on the ice.”
Florida’s Tomas Fleischmann and Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier
scored in regulation.
Mathieu Garon stopped 23 shots for Tampa Bay, which snapped a
two-game losing streak.
”We played a solid game. We played exactly the way we wanted,”
Jose Theodore made 29 saves for the Panthers, who were seeking a
fourth straight win for the first time since a seven-game streak
March 2-16, 2008. They hadn’t won four straight in regulation since
Feb. 10-19, 2001.
”I’m a little ticked off. We had a one-goal lead going into the
third period. We have to learn how to win these games,” Florida’s
Kris Versteeg said.
Lecavalier tied it at one with his 10th goal at 8:59 of the
third. It came seconds after Versteeg hit the crossbar at the other
end of the ice.
Lecavalier took a wrist shot as he skated in on Theodore, who
stopped the initial shot. The goalkeeper, however, failed to
smother the puck and Lecavalier poked at the puck several times
before putting it into the net.
After being outplayed and outshot 7-4 in the first period,
Florida was more assertive in a more wide-open second period.
Fleischmann opened the scoring at 12:38 of the second
Stephen Weiss outhustled Tampa Bay’s Brett Clark for the puck
just inside the Florida zone. Weiss then rushed down the left side
and into the Tampa Bay zone on a 2-on-1 with Fleischmann. Weiss fed
a pass to Fleischman, who one-timed the puck past Garon for his
”We have to find a way to win the game in the third period – we
didn’t,” Fleischmann said.
Fleischmann had two assists against the New York Rangers on
Wednesday night, when he also was leveled by an elbow from Andre
Deveaux. The NHL announced on Friday that Deveaux has been
suspended three games as a result of his elbow to the head.
Florida entered the game with its best 21-game start (12-6-3)
since going 13-3-5 to start the 1996-97 season. The last time the
Panthers were in first place this late in the season was through 68
games on March 10, 2000.
NOTES: The Panthers had one shot during the first 13:38. … The
teams will conclude the home-and-home series in Tampa on Saturday
night. … The Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg line has scored 30 of
Florida’s 62 goals this season. … The only penalties through two
periods were two minors (D Eric Brewer, delay of game; D Clark,
high sticking) called on Tampa Bay.