Huberdeau bags a pair to lead Panthers to 4-2 win over Lightning

Cats defuse Bolts for the second straight time

Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice in the second period and Aleksander Barkov dished out a one, a two, a three helpers to help the Florida Panthers get to the center of a 4-2 preseason win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the BB&T Center.

After a scoreless opening period, Huberdeau lit the lamp with a quick snipe from the right circle 42 seconds into the middle frame after a Barkov faceoff win.

Huberdeau struck again at 5:57 with a redirection while the Panthers were on a power play. Barkov and Vincent Trocheck collected the assists on Hubderdeau third of the preseason.

The Lightning finally got on the board at 7:35 of the third when Ryan Callahan beat Roberto Luongo. Assists on the power-play marker went to Dan Girardi and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Connor Brickley potted the eventual game-winner, and took another step towards making the final roster, when fired a wrist shot by Andrei Vasilevskiy for his third goal of the preseason. Mark Pysyk and Derek MacKenzie wered credited with the assists.

Nikita Kucherov scored with 1:03 remaining in regulation to draw Tampa Bay back within a goal. Kucherov’s goal was set up by Brayden Point and rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev.

Vincent Trocheck clinched the win with an empty-netter with 22 ticks on the clock. Barkov and Huberdeau each picked up their third point of the night with the helpers.

Luongo went the distance for the Cats and got in a good workout, stoppingg 38 shots to get the win. Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the Bolts.

All things considered, the Panthers continue to impress in the preseason. The right players are scoring the goals, the goaltending has looked sharp and the special teams are clicking.

The final tilt of the three-game preaseason set between Florida two NHL franchises takes place at 6 p.m. in Sunrise.