Game 14: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers
The Lightning broke a six-game losing streak to beat the Panthers in overtime 6-5.
The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers in overtime 6-5.
It wasn't a pretty game, but they got the job done. The Lightning broke a six-game losing streak, so expecting it to be something beautiful probably wasn't realistic, anyway. This was the Lightning's first win since 1 February against the Winnipeg Jets.
The first two periods were mostly an exchange of goals between the two teams. The Panthers started scoring early, at 48 seconds into the game. After that, it was back and forth with the scoring until the start of the third period, with only three penalties having been called up to that point as well - two on Florida, and one on Tampa Bay.
The Panthers scored two goals in the first three and a half minutes of the third period, and suddenly, the Lightning were down 5-3. Head Coach Guy Boucher had called a timeout in the second period to rest his players, so they were unable to stop and regroup at that point. And, as they'd been struggling, you wouldn't have expected them to come back very well from that.
But they did - mostly due to the leadership shown by Steven Stamkos. All of the Lightning veterans stepped up their play, but Stamkos was shooting from everywhere he could and forcing the play down into the Panthers' end. He started the comeback on the Lightning's only power play goal of the day - and his second of the game - with 13 and a half minutes left in the period.
After that, Teddy Purcell added a tally with 11 seconds left in the game. The Lightning had pulled Anders Lindback for the extra man, and it was successful for them this time around. They managed to come back from two goals down to push the game to overtime.
The game winner belonged to Benoit Pouliot on the only Tampa Bay shot of overtime, and it was his second goal of the game as well.
Rookie Alex Killorn scored his very first NHL goal today, giving the Lightning their first lead of the game. It was also the Lightning's first lead since they played the New York Rangers back on 2 February. Surely it is the first of many goals to come for Killorn.
The Lightning's next game is at home on Tuesday, 19 February. Game time is 7:30 pm Eastern. If you're not at the game, then consider joining us on our game thread, which will be available at 7 pm.
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