Panthers fall to Tampa Bay in overtime
Dominic Moore had to wait a bit to celebrate his shootout winner.
Moore scored the only shootout goal and Dan Ellis stopped all three Florida shooters in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2-1 victory over the Panthers on Friday night.
The goal withstood a video review to determine whether Moore hit the puck twice while deking Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun appeared to have stopped the puck with his skate before Moore followed through and put it in.
”I thought it could go either way, to be honest,” Moore said. ”To me it felt like all one follow-through. The skate was right there. Maybe it’s one of those things, if the call on the ice was different, the review would have been different. I think it was the right call, but I’m biased.”
Ellis made 30 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped Mike Santorelli, Michael Frolik and Stephen Weiss before Moore scored on the Lightning’s third attempt.
In overtime, Ellis made a pad save on Dennis Wideman’s one-timer.
”I thought he played great,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said about Ellis. ”He stayed poised under pressure, and he gave the rest of the team poise, too.”
Steve Downie scored in regulation for Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay, which has won three in a row.
”That’s our team,” Boucher said. ”We always find different ways to make it happen. It makes me real proud.”
The Lightning also won for the first time in three meetings against Florida and improved to 6-14 at BankAtlantic Center since the start of the 2005-06 season.
”It’s a good win for us,” Ellis said. ”We’ve had a tough time winning in this building.”
Cory Stillman scored for the Panthers, who wrapped up a six-game homestand 3-0-3.
The homestand, though, ended with three tough losses. Before losing to the Lightning, the Panthers gave up two goals in the final two minutes before losing to Atlanta in a shootout, then gave up a goal in the last minute before losing to Columbus in overtime.
Still, Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said he was happy with getting nine out of a possible 12 points.
”I would have taken that for sure,” he said. ”We have to keep building on that. But it was a good homestand and keeps us in the mix.”
Vokoun stopped Vincent Lecavalier on a penalty shot with 1:05 left in overtime. Lecavalier was awarded the shot when he was tripped from behind by defenseman Bryan Allen.
Florida, last in the NHL in power-play percentage, was 0 for 7 with the man advantage, failing to score with a two-man advantage for 44 seconds in the third period.
”We had seven power plays, 5-on-3, we’ve got to score,” Wideman said. ”We score there, we score one or two, we win the hockey game. When we have that many opportunities, especially in the third period, we have to find a way to score. But other than that, we played well.”
This was the seventh consecutive one-goal game for Florida, tying a franchise record set in 2001-02.
Stillman opened the scoring 50 seconds into the game with a short backhander from the front of the net. He took a rebound and tried to pass across the crease, but the puck went off Steven Stamkos’ stake right back to Stillman.
Downie tied it at 14:05 of the first off a feed from Stamkos, the league leader in goals. After taking a pass from Martin St. Louis, Stamkos skated between Wideman and Allen before dropping a back pass to Downie, who put home the one-timer.
Vokoun finished with 20 saves.
”You’ve got to tip your cap to their goaltender,” DeBoer said. ”He made some big saves. Our guy made some big saves. We had the better chances. We worked hard.
”It’s one of those games you can’t be too upset about because I’m not sure we could have done much differently other than maybe getting a little luck around the net.”
NOTES: Tampa Bay will return home Sunday against Atlanta to start a 12-game homestand that will run through the All-Star break. … Florida won the previous two meetings, 6-0 at Florida and 4-3 at Tampa Bay. … Florida C Mike Santorelli had his seven-game points streak snapped. … Florida recalled D Clay Wilson from Rochester of the AHL. … Florida D Dmitry Kulikov missed the game because of a rib injury. He was hurt Wednesday night against Columbus.