By Jake Ricker
The Lightning looked to bounce back once again after their loss to the Philidelphia Flyers. Here were the lines for the game against the Panthers:
Both teams got off to a quick start in this one, with both teams picking up three shots just four minutes into the game. The Lighting would have to kill off an early penalty as Kucherov was called for tripping. The Lightning penalty killing unit hunkered down and killed off the penalty. Unfotently the Lightning would head right back to the penalty kill after Sergachev was then called for cross-checking. The Lightning once again killed it off though, to keep the game scoreless.
Vasilevskiy then had to make a sprawling save to keep the puck out of the net on a great panthers chance. The Lightning then got a power play chance of their own as the Panthers were called for tripping. Then it was Steven Stamkos who once gain blasted one from his office, giving the Lightning a 1-0 lead. It was Stamkos's 7th goal of the season and his 5th straight game with a goal.
The Lightning then immediately went back on the power play, but this time the Panthers killed it off. The Panthers kept pushing after the kill and eventually got one past Vasilevskiy to tie the game at one. The period then came to a close with both teams tied at one but the Panthers having a heavy shot advantage.
The Panthers got off to an excellent start as the Lightning struggled to keep the puck out of the defensive zone. The Lightning then didn't make things easier on themselves, as Hagel was then called for an interference penalty. Luckily for the Lightning, the power play was shortlived as the Panthers were called for a trip. Both penalties would then expire with neither team able to convert.
The Lightning then started to get back into the swing of things with a few good chances in the offensive zone. It was the first time all game the Lightning game were able to sustain some pressure. The Lightning then got a chance on the power play as the Panthers would get called for a delay of game penalty. This was probably the best power play the Lightning had, but Bobrovsky and the Panther's penalty kill held them off.
The Panthers finally started to fight back, and after a faceoff win, they found the loose puck and put it into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead. The Lightning then took a late penalty, sending the Panthers to the power play. The period would then come to a close with one minute remaining on the power play.
The Lightning successfully killed off the rest of the Colton penalty and now looked to tie this game up. But Cernak would get called for interference, and the Lightning had to go right back to the penalty kill. The Lightning would remain perfect on the kill, though, and kept themselves in the game.
The parade to the penalty box continued in the third as the Panthers now took an interference penalty. The Lightning had a few great chances, but once again, they couldn't convert. The Lightning kept pushing, though, and It was Brayden Point who deflected the puck past Bobrovsky to tie the game at two.
The Lightning went back to the power play after Gudas was called for a tripping penalty. Unfotenrly, nothing much was happening on this power play. Things then tightened up on both ends, with both teams trying to take the lead.
Things did not slow down once overtime started, with Kucherov getting an early breakaway chance. Kucherov was denied on the breakaway but then slashed from behind by Tkachuk and then shoved to the ice.
This caused tempers to flare, and penalties would be handed out. The Lightning came away from it with a chance to end this one on the power play. And it was Mr overtime himself, as Point had the puck right in front of the net and fired it home for a 3-2 win.
The Lightning got off to a rough start giving up a quick goal and then letting the Blue Jackets get multiple 2-on-1 chances on their penalty kill. However, after a few outstanding saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy, things turned around. From the second period, the Lightning dominated this one, with nine different Lightning players getting on the score sheet.
Really not much to complain about in a 5-2 victory that's the first of the Bolt's season. Biggest two issues remain to be the faceoffs and the power play.
1. Point (2G)
2. Stamkos (1G,1A)
3. Vasilevskiy (35SV)
The Lightning's next game will be against the New York Islanders, October 22nd, at 7 PM ET.
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