By Jake Ricker
The Lightning played in their fourth preseason game as they took on the Florida Panthers and this time they would be sending out what is presumed to be the opening night roster. Here is look at the lineup for the game.
The Lightning got off to a fast start, with Point taking a quick shot on Bobrovsky, who turned it aside. The Panthers would strike first, though, after the puck too a weird bounce off the boards, leaving Dalpe wide open, where he fired it home for a 1-0 lead. Not surprisingly, this game had a regular season feel with a lot of the Lightning stars on the ice. Unfortunately, they couldn't quite get any great chances in the early goings of this game.
The Lightning then got a chance to tie this game on the power play as the Panthers were called for a hook. They were able to create a few chances, but the Panthers held them off, and we would get back to 5-on-5 hockey. The Panthers didn't take their foot off the gas, though, as Heponiemi fired home a huge rebound to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Stamkos got the first opportunity in the second as he came in on Bobrovsky all alone, but he was turned away. Eric Cernak was then called for hooking, so the Lightning would head to the penalty kill for the first time in this game. The Lightning penalty kill made quick work of the power play, though, and shut down the Panthers, successfully killing it off.
The Lightning then had another good scoring chance, and this time Nick Paul buried the rebound to get the Lightning on the board and cut the Panther's lead to one. Stamkos was then tripped by Dalpe and went down hard. Foote quickly came in and took objection to the trip. After all, was said and done, Dalpe was the one who was shaken up, and both him and Foote received 4 minutes in penalties.
The Lightning kept the pressure on and continued to pick up scoring chances. It was night and day from the way things went in the first period. The Panthers got a few chances of their own, but Vasilevskiy was a wall in net, and we would head into the third with the Lightning trailing by just one.
The Lightning again started things off well, with Cernak hitting a post from the blue line. The Panthers were unable to get much going and anything they did. The Lightning would be rewarded as Kucherov made a 360, no look, cross-ice pass to Namestnikov, who fired it home to tie the game at two.
With the game tied at two, both teams ramped up the action with chances at either end of the ice. Corey Perry then had a nice chance, but he was tied up by Gudas, who shut down the chance. Kucherov would then take a late penalty giving the Panthers a great chance to take back the lead. The Lightning had the better start with a nice shorthanded chance, but the Panthers got set up and fired one past Vasilevskiy for a 3-2 lead.
The Lightning would pull Vasilevskiy to try and tie this game up, and despite some great chances, the Lightning time would expire. The Panthers took this one by a final score of 3-2, and the Lightning remain winless in the preseason.
The Lightning looked the best they have all preseason. Nick Paul and Nikita Kucherov both had excellent games. While not on the score sheet, Myers also had a quietly good night. The Lightning did get on the board twice with goals from Paul and Namestnikov. The biggest issue in this game was the injury to Sergachev. Sergachev left early in the second period and never came back. Hopefully, this was just a precaution, and he is ok.
Three Stars Via NHL.com
1. Brandon Montour (1G)
2. Aleksi Heponiemi (1G)
3. Sergei Bobrovsky (26 SV, 2 GA)
The next preseason game will be on Saturday, October 8th, against the Florida Panthers at 4:00 PM.
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