The Florida Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 today in the finale of the 2011 Florida Rookie Tournament.
The game was closer than the score showed, however, as both teams wrapped the tournament with a spirited, back-and-forth battle.
The Panthers got goals from forwards Jonathan Hazen and John McFarland, along with a power-play score from defenseman Adam Comrie. Late in the game, with Lightning goaltender Jaroslav Janus on the bench in favor of an extra skater, Panthers forward Josh Birkholz was awarded the final goal after Tampa Bay defenseman Mark Barberio pulled him down from behind on a breakaway.
Brian Foster, who is signed to an AHL contract, was in the net for Florida. He stopped 32 of 33 shots as Tampa Bay outshot the Panthers 33-29. Foster's only misstep came in the final period, as Lightning forward Tyler Johnson stole the puck in front of the Florida net and scored unassisted.
Pat Nagle started in the net for Tampa Bay and stopped 12 of the 14 shots he faced. He gave way to Janus at the halfway point of the second period, and he was successful on 14 of the 15 shots that came his way.