Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lightning Slip By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their first road game of the regular season and fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena. It was the first time that the Panthers wore their new road white jerseys with blue numbers. They were trying to become the first team in franchise history to win their first three games to begin a season.
     There was no scoring until the second period at 2:38 when Florida(2-0-1) got a short-handed goal. Colton Sceviour scored in his second straight game and Derek MacKenzie picked up an assist on the play.
     The lead did not last long as Tampa Bay(3-0-0) tied the contest up at 6:18. Aaron Ekblad had the puck taken away from him behind the Panthers cage by Nikita Kucherov. He backhanded a pass to the low slot and Alex Killorn banged home a shot by James Reimer, who was making his first start with the new club.
     The Panthers fell behind for the first time in three games this season with 3:39 left in the second. Steven Stamkos tried to stuff in a shot from the left of the crease twice then Ondrej Palat lifted the rebound into the roof of the Panthers net for a Lightning 2-1 lead.
     In the third period, the Cats evened it at the 5:26 mark. Vincent Trocheck put in his second goal of the year with assists from Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.
     Michael Matheson would compile his first NHL goal with 4:08 remaining in the third. He skated in through the left circle and blasted a slapshot by Ben Bishop following a Greg McKegg feed.
     The Bolts pulled their goalie in the final two minutes for the extra skater and Stamkos ripped a one-time slapshot from the low left circle with 5.5 seconds to go and sent it into overtime tied at 3-3. Victor Hedman set it up with a pass from the left point.
     Jonathan Drouin scored on the third attempt for the Lightning during the shootout. Trocheck was able to match it on the Panthers third attempt when he fanned on the initial shot and nailed in a bouncing puck. Brayden Point skated in and scored on the sixth attempt for Tampa Bay on a wrist shot to the glove side. Ekblad had his high backhand shot saved by Bishop to end the contest.

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