Lightning cruise to 6-2 preseason win over Panthers

Bolts regulars too much for Checkered Cats

Corey Perry scored twice in the first period and Steven Stamkos struck for two power-play goals in the third of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 6-2 preseason win over the previously undefeated Florida Panthers at AMALIE Arena.

Anthony Cirelli and Pat Maroon collected the other two Lightning markers and Brian Elliott went the distance in goal.

Spencer Knight started for the Panthers and played the first two periods, stopping 17 of the 20 shots he faced, including all 13 in the middle frame. Christopher Gibson finished up and gave up three goals on six shots, including two to Stamkos in a 26-second span.

Joe Thornton, making his Panthers preseason debut, knocked in the rebound of Owen Tippett’s shot to answer Cirelli’s early goal midway through the first period. The secondary assist went to Anthony Duclair.

Tippett would notch a goal of his own with 7:41 left in the game when he converted from the slot after receiving a nice pass from Eetu Luostarinen. Brandon Montour also assisted on Tippett’s third preseason goal. Tippett is now tied for the team scoring lead with six points.

The Lightning outshot (26-23), out-hit (26-22) and out power-played (2/4 to 0/3) the Cats during this one. Not surprising as Tampa Bay iced a pretty powerful lineup for it’s hometown fans while Florida’s roster wasn’t regular season caliber.

Anton Lundell made his preseason debut and logged 17:06 of ice time and finished with a -1 rating.

The two teams will wrap the exhibition slate when they meet for the third time in a row (can we not do this anymore?) on Saturday night at FLA Live Arena.