The storyline was familiar: the second of back-to-back games, the Panthers get outworked and go down 2-0 to goals by Teddy Purcell and Dana Tyrell. Then Radek Dvorak was pulled down on a shorthanded breakaway in the second. He scored on the resulting penalty shot and the Panthers suddenly started playing with confidence. The hot-cold routine is all too familiar to the Panthers faithful. They saw it on Wednesday against Boston when Vokoun turned the puck over on the power play in a close game, resulting in Brad Marchand's tying goal and a subsequent Panthers collapse. They never recovered from that despite a closed-door players-only meeting after the game, instead sleepwalking through last night's game, losing 3-0 despite outshooting the Rangers by a margin of more than 2-1. Tonight the Panthers grabbed the momentum and took it all the way past their first overtime of the season into the shootout. Stephen Weiss scored the only goal, giving the Panthers their only win in a four game week.
Despite the win, there was a lot of bad news for the Panthers. They failed to score on five power play opportunities, bringing their streak of futility to 0-for-38. They also failed to hold the lead once they grabbed it in the third period and didn't score in the overtime period despite putting six shots on net. On the other hand, they killed six of seven Lightning power plays and outscored them in the third two to one despite being outshot fourteen to four.
The Panthers would get their first power play opportunity less than two minutes in after Mattias Ohlund was called for elbowing Jason Garrison, playing in his first game this week. They would get three shots, but no goal and Weiss was quickly called for hooking. They killed that, but the Lightning would score mid-period with Mike Weaver off for high sticking.
The two teams spent the first half of the second trading shots, with DanaTyrell scoring just past the halfway point. Darcy Hordichuk was called for roughing on the next shift. The Panthers played a tight kill and with five seconds left in the penalty, Dvorak got a breakaway and was taken down by Pavel Kubina. He scored on the resulting penalty shot and the Panthers looked like a different team. They wouldn't score again in the second, but they came out of the break playing hard and were rewarded with an early goal by Dmitry Kulikov.
After the tying goal. the Lightning put a lot of shots on Vokoun, but the defense again did a good job of keeping them from the dangerous areas. As the ice tilted into the Panthers end, forward Shawn Matthias scored on a tip-in from a Mike Santorelli shot giving the Panthers their first lead in two games. The Lightning would continue to pepper Vokoun and Sean Bergenheim tied it a few minutes later, but the Panthers held on for their first overtime of the season.
In overtime, the Panthers took over and outshot the Lightning six to none. They couldn't score, leading to the first shootout for both teams. The goalies started off in good form, with saves on the Panthers' Chris Higgins, Mike Santorelli and David Booth and the Lightning's Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos. The Lightning tried to put Martin St. Louis out as the third shooter even though they had announced Bergenheim as the third shooter. The officials sent him back to the bench and Vokoun made the save on Bergenheim. Then Weiss came out and put a backhand shot under Dan Ellis. St. Louis came out as the fourth Lightning shooter, but Vokoun made the stop, giving the Panthers their first shootout victory of the season and their first win in four games.
The Good: The Panthers tie the game after going down 2-0, then win in the shootout.
The Bad: The Panthers lose the 3-2 lead in the third and have to go to the shootout to win.
The Ugly: The Panthers' power play has now gone 0-for-38 since the last goal on November 10.
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Next up: Panthers at Ducks, Wednesday; Live Game Chat @ 9:30pm EST.