The Tampa Bay Lightning took home two points on the road against their rival Florida Panthers in overtime thanks to two goals from Brayden Point, who scored the tying and winning goals in the third period and overtime. The Lightning’s power play were the difference in a game where the Panthers heavily controlled even strength, scoring twice.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 of 37 for the win. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov also joined Point with two points on the night, Stamkos scoring the first goal of the game and Kucherov earning two assists.
The Bolts have a chance to set their record back to .500 tomorrow night when they host another playoff rival, the New York Islanders at 7pm. See you there.
Two penalty kills
The Lightning didn’t start on the right foot after taking back to back minor penalties within the first five minutes of the game. The penalty killers did pretty well, however, shutting down the five forward power play by the Panthers and getting some moments up the ice in the process.
Vasilevskiy had to make a big save on Barkov after the centre dangled through Stamkos covering on defense. The Panthers were building up the speed on the big, heavy Lightning defenders and it was looking very tenuous at times.
First power play... 1-0!
STAMMER! And then the power play got to working. On the team’s first opportunity, Luostarinen broke his stick on a Stamkos shot from the point forcing him to go to the bench and get another one. In those crucial seconds Stamkos jumped 10 ft closer to the net, took a Kucherov centering pass, and smashed home the first goal of the game. Hedman got the other assist on the PPG.
Hornqvist vs Koepke
This wasn’t a fight, but before the puck could even get dropped after the Stamkos goal, Hornqvist got called for slashing Koepke at the faceoff circle. Hornqvist cut his stick down hard on Koepke’s foot three times before he was finally penalized. The rookie Koepke was just shoving with his shoulder in response.
The Panthers tied the game with Tkachuk from a bad angle under the elbow of Vasilevskiy. The Panthers were heavily winning the shot battle at this point so something was going to get through eventually. Montour and Forsling got the assists.
A tie game, but a bad period from the Lightning at 5v5. They got doubled in shots 9-19 (shots on goal 5-12), even when accounting for two power plays on both sides. The Bolts don’t play a sustainable 5v5 game — they just don’t have the players for it anymore — and rely on goaltending and their power play, so at some point I’m just going to have to get over watching them get shelled for a large part of every game. But that’s a me problem.
More Power Plays
Bennett got called for puck over glass, and Stamkos got two big shot attempts, but Lundell and Reinhart blocked the puck from getting through. Point looked out of sync on the first unit there.
Kucherov squished Barkov into the board. Initially it was body on body, but Barkov did a button hook just as the interaction was coming, causing his shoulder and head to get squeezed into the boards. He was slow to get up, but got up and went down the tunnel. No call on the play.
Barkov heads to the room after this hit from Kucherov. pic.twitter.com/DkeXoXtGrF— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) October 22, 2022
4v4 matching penalties
Hagel and Montour got coincidental minors for a shoving match after a whistle. Hagel was definitely pushing back against the Panthers speed and aggressiveness, trying to spark some energy out of his own team.
Rudolfs Balcers banged home a misdirected puck in front of the net to give the Panthers the lead. Sergachev was caught behind Balcers off the faceoff.
Stop me if you heard this in the first period, but another bad period for the Lightning at 5v5 where they got out-shot 10-18. They got great looks on their power plays, but they were chasing the Panthers for most of the game and always seeming to lose the number advantages on rush chances. Lack of footspeed, there.
POINT! Left all alone in front for the redirection and Point made no mistake tying the game for the Lightning. A straightforward mistake by the Panthers to not cover him and it was Sergachev and Kucherov with the assists.
Not wanting to give the Panthers the free point, the Lightning poured on a lot of pressure in the final minutes of the game, playing some of their best hockey of the night. They had sustained pressure against what looked like a Panthers team that had gotten off the gas, allowing them to cycle and win races to the puck. They lost an important faceoff with 15 seconds left that stopped a set play before it started.
A much better period for the Lightning as the Panthers seemed to tire in the third. The Bolts led in shots 13-6 and scored the tying goal to boot. Points goal was only the sixth 5v5 goal the Lightning have scored this season, tied for third worst in the league so far in this young season.
- Kucherov with a breakaway! Stopped by Bob. Tkachuk then ran Kucherov hard into the boards unnecessarily. Tkachuk got the extra penalty, giving the Lightning a 4v3 power play. Hedman got a roughing penalty on Tkachuk, but Tkachuk took one in return, both of which were coincidental so Hedman couldn’t be out for the power play.
- On the power play Stamkos got his shot, but missed high.
- POINT SCORES!!!!!! From in front on the power play!!
⭐️ The Lightning Power Play: despite getting out-shot 32-43 at 5v5, the Lightning’s power play scored the two critical goals to get the win.
⭐️⭐️ Brayden Point: two goals including the game winner, his line also carried most of the team’s offense at 5v5 starting with his five scoring chances.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Andrei Vasilevskiy: Vasy stopped 35 of 37 shots on ice that was mostly tilted towards him as the Panthers were relentless with their speed.