The Florida Panthers battled back from a two-goal deficit, but couldn’t come up with a third goal and lost for the fourth straight time when Brayden Point scored on a breakaway 2:13 into overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring with 7:43 left in the first period with a power-play goal. After Alex Killorn fended off Sam Bennett near the blue line, he went down low to Ross Colton, who sent a hard crossing pass to an open Pat Maroon for the short-range finish.
The Lightning added another 9:02 into the second when Boris Katchouk tried to pass down low, but the puck hit Gustav Forsling’s stick and ended up on unmarked Victor Hedman’s blade on the other side of the ice and he fired it past an out-of-position Sergei Bobrovsky. Zach Bogosian got the secondary assist on Hedman’s second.
After Lucas Carlsson and Aleksander Barkov moved the puck back up the boards to Jonathan Huberdeau, he worked his way from the right point to the left circle and whipped a wrist shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy to end an eight-game goalless drought at the 12:59 mark.
The Panthers would draw even 36 second later. A hard-working Owen Tippett got the puck all the way down the ice before Hedman stripped him of the puck. Tippet regained possession and backhanded it over to Ryan Lomberg, who sent it to Aarron Ekblad at the right point. Ekblad one-timed Lomberg’s pass and Eetu Luostarinen was able to deflect it home for his fifth of the season, adding to his modest career-high.
Nor Vasilevskiy (nine saves) or Bobrovsky (seven saves) would yield in the third period and the game went to overtime, where the Lightning goaler flat-out robbed Ekblad with a dazzling glove-save from on the door step 59 seconds in.
The winner came when a gassed Carter Verhaeghe was stripped of the puck by Ondrej Palat, who sent a long stretch pass to Point and he broke in on Bobrovsky and beat him with beautiful forehand-to-backhand finish. Why Verhaeghe didn’t pass off to Ekblad, I’ll never know. Decisions, decisions, decisions... Point has now scored eight overtime goals in his career.
Absolutely. Filthy. pic.twitter.com/hc5Y9mQ3dL— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 14, 2021
As they did against Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Panthers couldn’t find a way to come up with a win when the game was there for the taking. Normally an effort like this, a point on the road against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs, would be better received, but as it capped off an 0 for 4 road trip, things are looking rather gloomy to some. Viewing this game as a single entity, I think this is still a pretty positive result. The Panthers did a lot of good things and if not for a little puck luck on Hedman’s goal and some other-worldly saves from Vasilevskiy, they would’ve come away with a win against a hot team coming in a six-game point streak. The leakiness from the first two games of the road trip is gone as they held the Penguins and Lightning to two goals each in regulation, and limited the Bolts to just 24 shots in this one. Florida will return home to face the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Flash & Dash
- Florida’s two teams have seen a lot of each other lately. This was the 19th meeting in 2021, including the playoffs and preseason. The Lightning ended a four-game regular-season losing streak that included a 4-1 loss at AMALIE Arena on October 19.
- Aleksander Barkov’s assist on Jonathan Huberdeau’s fourth goal extended his point streak to nine games. Barkov has amassed seven goals and four helpers during the streak. Florida’s captain also won 18 of the 26 draws he took.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the game with 26 saves while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 of 24 shots in a second-straight undeserved loss. A little more goal support for Bob would be nice.
- Lucas Carlsson’s second period assist was his first=ever point as a Panther. The 24-year-old registered two hits and a +1 rating in 10:50 TOI in his third appearance of the season.
- Two of Tampa Bay’s goalscorers (Victor Hedman and Brayden Point) matched Sam Bennett and Gustav Forsling for the game-high in shots with four.
- For more on a rather clean game against the Lighthing, give yourself a morning jolt at Raw Charge.
Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)