Panthers drop 4-2 decision to Lightning in preseason finale

Cats finish the exhibition slate with a 5-2 record

The Florida Panthers ended the preseason on a bit of sour note, giving up three third period goals in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Florida played well throughout, outshooting the Bolts 47-29, damn you Ansdrei Vasilevskiy, but Pat Maroon struck twice on the power play in a 1:57 span to provide the game-winning and insurance goals.

After a scoreless first period, Kevin Connauton opened the scoring with a wrister from the top of the left circle with the assists going to Jonthan Huberdeau and Owen Tippett 4:51 into the second.

Alex Killorn tied the game before the Panthers answered 27 seconds later when Aleksander Barkov passed down low to Carter Verhaeghe who fed Sam Reinhart in the slot for the goal.

Barkov and Tippett each finished the preseason with a team-leading seven points for the 5-2 Cats.

Sergei Bobrovsky went the distance and finished with 25 saves. Vasilveksiy showed he was in midseason form by stopping 45 of 47 shots.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, Connauton ended up lgetting injured (lower-body) and indications are he will be out for a week or two. Sam Bennett entered COVID protocol and was unable to play.

Florida will get down to a 23-man roster in time for Thursday season-opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins at FLA Live Arena. Bring on the games that matter!