Dwayne Roloson stopped 28 shots -- and four in the shootout -- in relief for the Tampa Bay Lightning to help them overcome a three-goal deficit and claim a 4-3 shootout victory against its Sunshine State rival.
The Lightning have now won six of eight after a five-game losing streak, and sit alone in second place in the Southeast Division -- just two points behind the Washington Capitals. Roloson entered the game after Mathieu Garon allowed three goals in the first period, and eventually the Lightning came all the way back for their first victory against the Panthers in three tries this season.
“We gave it to them,” Florida forward Kris Versteeg said. “We let them come back in the game. They made a couple good plays, but we let them back in the game.”
Ryan Malone put Tampa Bay on the board late in the second period. He collected a rebound near the left post with the Lightning on a power play and was able to bounce a shot off goaltender Jose Theodore that trickled across the line at 16:20.
Steven Stamkos cut Florida’s lead to one just 86 seconds later. Defenseman Matt Gilroy carried the puck below the goal line in the left corner and backhanded a pass to Stamkos for a one-timer at 17:46.
With nine goals in the past 10 games and 10 overall, Stamkos is now tied with Toronto’s Phil Kessel for the League lead.
"We were able to come back and get two points on the road. Hopefully, this snowballs to where we get some confidence on the road," Stamkos said, referencing the Bolts' 3-4-2 road mark.
The Lightning completed the comeback from three goals down after a wild scramble in front of Theodore at 8:11 of the third period. Teddy Purcell was credited with the goal. With Theodore sprawled on the ice, Purcell’s attempt pinballed off both posts and Florida forward Scottie Upshall’s skate before it crossed the line.
Brian Campbell put the Panthers on top 1:49 into the contest with a power-play goal. Versteeg carried the puck towards the right corner and sent a pass back to Campbell at the top of the circles. His shot deflected off Tampa Bay’s Nate Thompson and into the back of the net.
Campbell entered the day tied for fifth in the League with 11 assists, but the goal was his first of the season. He joined the Panthers in a trade from Chicago in late June, and Florida general manager Dale Tallon has credited his arrival as key to helping the Panthers land their high-profile free agents back in July.
The Panthers have been lethal against the Lightning on the power play this season. Campbell’s goal was the team’s eighth with the extra man against Tampa Bay in three games. Florida scored five times on the power play in nine chances during a 7-4 victory Oct. 17.
A pair of other ex-Blackhawks teamed up later in the period to give the Panthers a two-goal advantage. Jack Skille fed Tomas Kopecky with a perfect feed during a 2-on-1 at 13:05. It was Kopecky’s second of the season.
Mike Santorelli made it 3-0 a little more than two minutes later. Dmitry Kulikov intercepted a pass by Tampa Bay’s Teddy Purcell and found Santorelli, who beat Mathieu Garon between his legs at 15:21 for his first marker of the campaign. That was all for Garon, who was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots.
“We took a sloppy icing and we took a timeout, then we took a sloppy penalty. All of a sudden you feel the momentum when it changes like that,” Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. “It was preventable plays at key moments. For 35 minutes we played a really solid game. We fell off for the last five of the second, but we picked it back up and I liked a lot of our third period and then it just turned into the Wild West there at the end.”
Roloson was a perfect 4-for-4 in the shootout, and Dominic Moore provided the lone tally for the Lightning in the fourth round against Theodore. The 42-year-old goaltender also made a wonderful save in the final seconds of overtime when Stephen Weiss was all alone in front to get his team to the shootout.
"It's a great win to be able to come back from three goals," Moore said. "It's a great sign of us sticking with it, being patient. We had our backs against the wall. Hopefully that's a lesson for us."