Brayden Point scored the go-ahead goal 3:03 into the third and the Tampa Bay Lightning tacked on two more to post a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena.
After Andrei Vasilevskiy defused a solid Florida start, Anthony Cirelli fought off Colin White in the right corner before finding Pat Maroon in the right circle and he beat Sergei Bobrovsky for his first of the season. Cal Foote picked up secondary assist at the 8:40 mark.
Call-up Zac Dalpe got the only goal for the Panthers 6:02 into the second. After Eric Staal won an offensive zone draw, Zalpe got to the puck and dropped it to Josh Mahura at the point, Mahura went back to Dalpe along the right boards, and he cut in and threw the puck towards the net, where it went in off of Mikhail Sergachev. That’s two goals in three NHL games for the 33-year-old Dalpe.
After beating Florida in ovetime earlier this season, Point bagged another game-winner, solving Bobrovsky short-side after Nikita Kucherov slipped him a pass in the slot and he got inside position on Sam Bennett. Brandon Hagel was credited with the secondary assist.
After Foote took a pass from Vlad Namestnikov missed wide, Sergachev put the Bolts up by two at 7:22 when he fired the rebound into an empty net after Bobrovsky got tangled up with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Aaron Ekblad and fell to ice. Paul Maurice took a chance and challenged for a goaltender interference call and the goal correctly stood after it was ruled that Ekblad pushed Bellemare into his goaltender.
The Cats had a few quality scoring chances to cut into the lead, but couldn’t finish and before they could pull Bobrovsky, Nicholas Paul poked the puck out of his zone sending Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos off on a 2-on-0 break. After taking the center from Killorn, Stamkos easily maneurved around Bobrovsky and deposited the dagger with 3:15 left on the clock.
Too many missed opportunities for the Panthers in this one, They started fast, but could not open the scoring, went an ugly 0-for-4 on the power play in the second period, and then couldn’t respond to the Point or Sergachev goals in the third. The Lightning limited Florida’s big guns Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaghe to one shot on goal apiece and just 25 overall. That’s unacceptable in an important divisional tilt against your in-state rival. After hammering Tampa Bay 9-3 to close out 2021, the Panthers have dropped seven straight games (including the playoffs) to the Bolts since late April. Yikes!
Shock & Aww
- The Steven Stamkos cake-icer was his 496th career NHL goal and extended his point streak to 13 games. Stamkos has racked up eight goals and 12 assists during that span. He led all shooters in this battle of the Reverse Retros with seven shots on goal.
- Speaking of scoring streaks, Matthew Tkachuk had his four-gamer snapped by the Bolts and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished with 24 saves.
- Defenseman Brandon Montour played in his 400th NHL game. Montour registered two shots, a block and a hit.
- Sergei Bobrovsky made his second straight start and finished with 34 saves on 38 shots. Bobrovsky helped his club stay in it over the first forty, when they got out-shot 27-15, but like his mates, wasn’t good enough in the third.
- In addition to his goal, Mikhail Sergachev had three shots, three blocks and three hits in 22:40 TOI.
- Get jolted about the latest Cats loss over at Raw Charge.