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Panthers score twice in third period and beat Lightning 3-2 in Game 1 – NBC 6 South Florida

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Panthers score twice in third period and beat Lightning 3-2 in Game 1 – NBC 6 South Florida
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Carter Verhaeghe tapped in a pinpoint cross from Aleksander Barkov for the lead 58 seconds into the third interval, Matthew Tkachuk added a aim and an help and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Sport 1 of their NHL playoff sequence opener Sunday.

Barkov had two assists, Sam Reinhart additionally scored and Sergei Bobrovsky had 17 saves for the Panthers, who gained a Sport 1 on dwelling ice for the primary time since 1997.

Brandon Hagel and Steven Stamkos obtained the targets for Tampa Bay, which now trails Florida in a sequence for the primary time. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 stops for the Lightning, who pulled him for an additional attacker with 3:08 remaining. Tkachuk obtained an empty-netter 63 seconds later, and Florida quickly started celebrating a 1-0 sequence lead.

Stamkos scored with 9.3 seconds left for the Lightning.

Verhaeghe’s aim got here on the ability play, one which carried over from late within the second interval. Barkov held the puck on the proper level, then despatched a diagonal cross via the slot to a hard-charging Verhaeghe — who was behind everybody else and easily touched the puck into an open web.

It is the third time the Sunshine State rivals have met within the playoffs — each of the primary two having gone Tampa Bay’s manner, and mainly in one-sided trend. The Lightning gained 4-2 on their method to their second straight Stanley Cup in 2021, then swept Florida 4-0 in 2022 and outscored the Panthers 13-3 in that sequence.

That ouster introduced modifications to Florida, which employed Paul Maurice to implement a brand new model geared towards successful within the playoffs with out sacrificing offense. The Panthers rode that to the Stanley Cup ultimate final yr, to the Atlantic Division title this yr — and it was sufficient in Sport 1.

Florida took the sport’s first eight pictures, retaining Tampa Bay from getting something to Bobrovsky till 15:55 had elapsed within the opening interval. After which it was the Lightning who clamped down — holding Florida to solely six pictures within the subsequent 25 minutes, no small feat in opposition to the crew that has gotten, by far, probably the most pictures on web within the NHL over the past 4 seasons.

Pictures after two durations: Florida 14, Tampa Bay 10. It tied the second-fewest pictures the Panthers had via 40 minutes this season, and tied the third-fewest the Lightning had coming into a 3rd interval.

Reinhart scored on a tip-in 6:13 into the sport, and Hagel related off a rebound from the slot at 16:04 of the primary. It stayed that manner till Verhaeghe skated unnoticed to the left facet of the crease and tapped within the cross from Barkov for the 2-1 lead.

UP NEXT

Sport 2 is Tuesday in Dawn.

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