|@ Lightning (8-8-2)||1||2||1||0||4|
- For the first couple of minutes, the Panthers had some trouble handling the puck in their own zone and it led to some chances by the Lightning. Anton Stralman glided in from his right defense position and sent a wrist shot towards Roberto Luongo and it rang off the crossbar.
- The Panthers made a few good defensive plays early on. Dave Bolland got physical in the slot with Alex Killorn to prevent a shot on goal. Shortly after, Dmitry Kulikov intercepted a cross ice pass in his own zone by Jonathan Drouin and allowed the play to go the other way. Then, Brian Campbell made a poke check in the neutral zone and it sent the puck into the offensive zone for the Panthers.
- That poke check by Campbell sent Vincent Trocheck in up the right wing with speed and he decided to bring the puck around the net to try for a wraparound goal. He didn’t score, but the shot on net left the puck sitting in the blue paint and Jussi Jokinen charged the crease hard and tapped the puck in for the first goal of the game.
- The Panthers had a power play opportunity, but it didn’t last long as Brandon Pirri would be called for a holding the stick minor which resulted in 4 on 4 play for about a minute.
- For the middle 10 minutes of the period, the Panthers were making it really difficult for the Lightning to skate through the neutral zone, but the Lightning would eventually break through and score. There was a scrum in the middle of the slot and Roberto Luongo darted out of his crease slightly to poke check the puck away, but in doing so, he gave the puck to J.T. Brown who got a shot on net. Brown’s shot rebounded off the post and went right onto the stick of Cedric Paquette who scored the first Lightning goal of the game.
- The Lightning turned things on near the end of the period and had the Panthers back on their heels a bit, however neither team really had any grade-A chances. Overall, it was one of the better opening periods from the past few games by the Panthers, so that’s a positive.
- This was an interesting period with lots of scoring.
- The Lightning started things off early in the period. Vladislav Namestnikov scored after a Steven Stamkos pass fooled Roberto Luongo and caused him to fall in the crease.
- The Panthers answered back soon after when Nick Bjugstad went in on a breakaway off the left wing and scored using a move similar to the one he used to win the 20-round shootout last December.
- Erik Gudbranson got in on a breakaway and was seemingly taken down while shooting the puck and there was no call on the Lightning, but seconds later, Brandon Pirri got a breakaway opportunity and was clearly tripped to give him a penalty shot. On the penalty shot, Pirri scored used his signature move where he goes in slowly and stick-handles in the slot for several seconds before taking a sudden shot towards the 5-hole.
- It wouldn’t take the Lightning long to answer back and it came in an unfortunate manner. In the defensive zone, Alex Petrovic took a shot to the foot and could barely skate. A rebound came out to the man Petrovic would’ve been covering had it not been for the shot to the foot and the puck was sent to the back of the Panthers net to tie things at 3.
- The Lightning had a power play during the 2nd half of the period, and while they did have some chances, none were of high quality. Erik Gudbranson made a big block on Steven Stamkos who attempted to get a one-timer off from the left face off circle.
- After all of the breakaways and scoring opportunities during the 1st half of the period, there weren’t many to be had in the 2nd half.
- The Panthers lost Dmitry Kulikov to what seems to be a right leg/knee injury near the beginning of the period. It was announced at the end of the end of the period that he suffered a lower body injury and would not return for the 3rd.
- The Lightning began the period with some really good forechecking. The Panthers were stuck in their own zone for almost the first 2 minutes of the 3rd before they finally got a chance the other way.
- The Panthers got an early power play opportunity after Reilly Smith got a stick to the face in front of the net in the offensive zone. They dominated the offensive zone for a minute and a half and Nick Bjugstad got two one-timers off, but Ben Bishop stopped them both.
- Shawn Thornton limped off the ice and into the locker room after he took a Brian Campbell slap shot to his right foot prior the the power play, but he returned several minutes later.
- Steven Stamkos outbattled Nick Bjugstad to the front of the net and Aaron Ekblad didn’t pick up Vladislav Namestnikov in the low slot which allowed him to flip a loose puck past Roberto Luongo, giving the Lightning a 4-3 lead. The Lightning were pinning the Panthers in their zone several times around the halfway point of the period.
- The Panthers got a late power play after a delay of game penalty by the Lightning with under a minute left in the period. Dave Bolland won the offensive zone face-off and got the puck back to Aaron Ekblad who put a slap shot past Ben Bishop to tie that game at 4.
- Vincent Trocheck had a breakaway after winning the opening face-off, but Ben Bishop made a huge glove save to rob him.
- Roberto Luongo stopped Steven Stamkos on a penalty shot after he was tied up on a breakaway by Dave Bolland.
- After making a huge poke check on Nikita Kucherov to take away a scoring chance in the low slot, Aaron Ekblad nearly got a breakaway and was held by a Lightning player to give the Panthers a power play for 24 seconds, but they couldn’t score.
Hedman – no goal
Pirri – goal
Boyle – no goal
Bjugstad – no goal
Filppula – no goal, Panthers win
Well, that was certainly a thriller. Roberto Luongo wasn’t at his best tonight, but he came through when it mattered: in overtime and the shootout where he stopped everything he saw. The Panthers showed a lot of character by not giving up and coming back to get 2 points especially with Dmitry Kulikov leaving the game early in the 2nd period. They faced some adversity with the Lightning putting a lot of pressure on them in the offensive zone during the second half of the game and with some tough goals ending up in the back of their net. This is a huge win for a Panthers team that has lost many tough games over the past month, and this could be a game that helps them get on the streak they need to gain some more confidence.
Your Florida Panthers will be taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Monday, November 16th, at 7:30 PM ET. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.