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game recap

Domingue, Stamkos spark Lightning past Panthers

Goalie makes 40 saves, center has goal, three assists; Hoffman point streak hits 17 for Florida

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Louis Domingue made 40 saves, and Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 7-3 win against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Wednesday.

Panthers forward Mike Hoffman extended his point streak to 17 games (10 goals, 10 assists) with a power-play goal with 3:35 remaining in the third period. It is the longest streak in the NHL this season.

Nikita Kucherov and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and two assists, and J.T. Miller had three assists for the Lightning (15-6-1), who lead the Eastern Conference with 31 points.

 

[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Lightning highlights]

 

"It was one of those nights where I wanted the puck, I wanted to utilize my speed and creativity," Stamkos said. "It was nice to see it work. It doesn't always work but it was nice to see it happen."

Troy Brouwer and Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida (8-8-3), which is 2-3-0 on a six-game road trip.

"We've got to tighten up in the [defensive] zone a little bit," Hoffman said. "We can't be giving up that many goals and expect to win games. We have to be on top of our game against these guys and we weren't."

Kucherov gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead at 9:22 of the first period with a power-play goal from the right face-off circle, a one-timer off a pass from Victor Hedman. He beat Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo on the glove side.

Video: FLA@TBL: Kucherov fires in big one-timer for PPG

Yanni Gourde made it 3-1 at 2:37 of the second at the right post off a pass from Stamkos through the goal crease, and Adam Erne made it 4-1 at 4:45 by backhanding a rebound.

"Right from the first shift until the end of the game I thought we played good," Gourde said. "We've struggled in the first period the last few games but I think we fixed that tonight and came out very strong."

Barkov pulled Florida within 4-2 with 1:35 left in the second period with a power-play goal from just outside the crease.

Video: FLA@TBL: Barkov finishes tic-tac-toe passing for PPG

"Some guys need to step up, I need to step up and play better," Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. "We've just got to play and win some games."

Stamkos pushed the Lightning lead to 5-2 at 1:30 of the third period. McDonagh made it 6-2 at 3:21, and Dan Girardi scored at 14:25 to make it 7-2.

Video: FLA@TBL: Stamkos collects rebound, pauses and scores

"It's tough to lose when you score seven," Domingue said. "We were opportunistic and scored some big goals at key moments. I just thought we played a great game from start to finish."

Mathieu Joseph gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead 59 seconds into the first period. Brouwer answered to make it 1-1 at 2:19.

Video: FLA@TBL: Joseph forces turnover and buries backhand

Luongo had 22 saves on 28 shots before being pulled at 3:21 of third period. James Reimer made four saves on five shots.

"That was a tough game for them because they've been on the road for a long time," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the Panthers. "They were probably a little bit tired. And you have to take advantage of teams when they are tired because they are going to take advantage of you."

Video: FLA@TBL: Girardi scores through three pairs of legs

 

They said it

"We kind of let [Luongo] out to dry there. I thought we found our legs a little bit in the second. I thought we pushed back but ultimately they were coming in waves at us all game and we didn't have a response." -- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad

 

"He was amazing tonight. He was winning puck battles. He was so fast. He was shooting the puck. It was a great game for him and it was really fun to play with him tonight." -- Lightning forward Yanni Gourde on Steven Stamkos

 

Need to know

Hoffman has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) during his point streak. He has the fifth-longest point streak in NHL history for a player in his first season with a team. Wayne Gretzky holds the record at 23 games (51 points; 18 goals, 33 assists) in 1988-89 with the Los Angeles Kings. ... Girardi had gone 22 games without a goal; he last scored April 6, 2018, against the Buffalo Sabres. ... Hedman had two assists and passed Vinny Prospal for sole possession of fifth place in Lightning history with 373 points (86 goals, 287 assists). ... Kucherov has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in the past eight games. ... Barkov has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the past eight games. ... Florida defenseman Keith Yandle had two assists and has four points (one goal, three assists) in the past four games.

Video: FLA@TBL: Hoffman scores PPG to keep streak alive

 

What's next

Panthers: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Video: Stamkos leads Lightning to 7-3 rout of Panthers

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