Newbies lead Panthers to 4-2 preseason victory over Lightning

McGinn, Dadonov and Vrbata score in win over Bolts

The Florida Panthers summer acquisitions shone in Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 preseason win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Jamie McGinn, just in from Arizona, opened the scoring when he deflected Ian McCoshen’s shot from the point past Tampa Bay netminder Peter Budaj 5:39 into the first period. Da Beauty League standout Nick Bjugstad drew the secondary assist on the play.

The host Lightning evened the game up on Alexander Volkov’s goal at 14:30 of the second period. The Volkov marker was set up by Matthew Peca and Alex Killorn.

Florida’s new top line clicked 32 seconds later to restore the one-goal advantage. Evgenii, Evgeni or Evgeny (pick one) Dadonov dented the twine after Aleksander Barkov hit Jonathan Huberdeau with a long pass and he fed the returning Russian for a one-timer from the slot.

Radim Vrbata put the Cats up by two 4:34 into the frame frame when he wired a shot from the left circle over Budaj’s blocker with Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph off for cross-checking. Jayce Hawryluk and Denis Malgin picked up the assists on the power-play goal.

Volkov struck again to draw the Lightning within one with his second of the tilt at the 12:44 mark. Killorn and Peca were responsible for the assists again.

Huberdeau flung the puck down the ice for an empty-net goal with 1:05 remaining, with lone helper going to defenseman Alex Petrovic, to clinch the win, Florida’s second in preseason play.

James Reimer went the distance in goal for the Panthers, stopping 27 shots to get the win and the Cats killed off all eight of the Lightning’s power-play opportunities.

Budaj made 24 saves for Tampa Bay, who will travel south to Sunrise for Tuesday and Thursday night exhibitions against the Panthers at the BB&T Center.

Our friends at Raw Charge have the other side of the game here.