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Vasilevskiy sharp but Bolts close preseason with shootout loss to Florida

The Lightning fell to the Panthers 1-0 in a shootout on Saturday night

by Jacob Lynn /

The Lightning wrapped up the preseason with a 1-0 shootout loss to the Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday night.

Goaltending was the highlight of the night for both clubs.

Sergei Bobrovsky got the start in goal for the Panthers and stopped all 28 shots he faced. Even with Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman held out of Tampa Bay's lineup, the Bolts threw plenty of dangerous scoring chances toward the Florida netminder.

Nikita Kucherov generated the Lightning's best chance on an odd man rush early in the third period but Bobrovsky made the save to keep the game scoreless. Anthony Cirelli then had a chance to win the game for the Bolts in overtime but was stopped by Bobrovsky on a partial breakaway.

On the other side, Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in his best performance of the preseason. After allowing six goals in a loss to the Panthers in Sunrise on Tuesday, Vasilevskiy rebounded with a 25-save effort on Saturday. His best save of the night came in overtime when he stopped Denis Malgin from point blank range on a power play.

Vasilevskiy's only mistake came in the shootout when he allowed the eventual game-winning goal to Vincent Trocheck. Vasilevskiy got a big piece of the shot but the puck just trickled through his pads and over the goal line.

Bobrovsky made saves on Kevin Shattenkirk, Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev in the shootout to preserve the victory for the Panthers.

Tampa Bay played most of the game shorthanded with both Cedric Paquette and Tyler Johnson exiting with injuries.

Next up, the Bolts face the Panthers on Opening Night at Amalie Arena on Thursday night.  

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