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game recap

Lightning get past Panthers, Bobrovsky in season opener

Tampa Bay breaks tie in third period, spoils goalie's, Quenneville's debut for Florida

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

Kucherov's one-time snipe

FLA@TBL: Kucherov hammers home Sergachev's nice dish

Nikita Kucherov winds up inside the circle and rips Mikhail Sergachev's pass past Sergei Bobrovsky to open the scoring for the Lightning

  • 01:11 •

TAMPA -- Sergei Bobrovsky allowed two third-period goals in his Florida Panthers debut, a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the season opener at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Ondrej Palat and Pat Maroon scored on Bobrovsky to break a 2-2 tie.

"I felt good, it's good to start the season," the goalie said. "Obviously we wanted to have the [win] tonight, but it is what it is. It's a long season. I don't think we have to think too much, we just have to put this game behind us and get ready to work on our home opener (Saturday against the Lightning)."


[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Lightning highlights]


Maroon and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in their first game with the Tampa Bay, Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist, and Mikhail Sergachev had three assists for the Lightning, who have won their past six season openers. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves.

"There was a lot of the game that I liked," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "Again, did we get bit a little bit by the turnover bug in which we gave up a 2-on-1 and a 3-on-1 and things that are in our control not to give up? We did. As a whole can we be better as a team? There's no question. It's game one."

Video: FLA@TBL: Shattenkirk pots goal in Lightning debut

Mike Hoffman and Vincent Trocheck scored, and Bobrovsky made 25 saves in Joel Quenneville's first game as Panthers coach.

"I liked the first 40 minutes, the last 20 were too loose for us and they got some timely goals late in the power plays," Quenneville said. "I thought for the most part we were in pretty good shape and then we didn't have the puck much in the third, which was, you know, in their favor, because they've got a lot of skill and a lot of speed when they do have it."

Palat put the Lightning ahead 3-2 at 9:34 of the third period when he scored off a power-play rebound of a shot redirection by Alex Killorn. Maroon made it 4-2 at 13:51 when he scored on a rebound off a shot by Victor Hedman.

"Just gotta go to the front of the net, good things happen," Maroon said. "Lucky bounce off the boards, but my job is to stay in front of the net and look for dirty second and third opportunities. The boys did a good job of whacking the puck and getting second and third opportunities. I was just there to clean up the trash."

Erik Cernak scored an empty-net goal with 46 seconds remaining to make it 5-2.

Kucherov, the leading scorer in the NHL last season, made it 1-0 at 6:39 of the first period with a one-timer from outside the circle off a feed from Sergachev while the Lightning had a man-advantage from a delayed penalty.

Hoffman tied it 1-1 at 2:35 of the second period after Trocheck dug the puck out of the corner. Shattenkirk made it 2-1 at 10:28.

"For me it was really just getting the puck to the net and hoping for the best," Shattenkirk said. "It seemed to be there most of the night, the shooting lanes ... it was just one of those ones that you kind of look and everyone else starts celebrating before you, so you figure something good happened."

Trocheck tied it 2-2 with a shorthanded goal at 8:49 of the third period.

"This is not a good feeling," Florida captain Aleksander Barkov said. "We had the game in our hands. We played really well but we just couldn't win and we need to learn how to win."

Video: FLA@TBL: Maroon taps home goal to extend lead


They said it

"I thought we played aggressive. We played a tough matchup game. We played them tough in close. The score was a little bit more lopsided than the game actually was." -- Panthers center Vincent Trocheck

"To keep [the Barkov line] pretty much off the board the whole night was just an outstanding night for Palat, [Anthony] Cirelli and Killorn. It's only fitting that when we gave up the shorthanded goal that Palat was the guy that got the go-ahead goal, and I thought he deserved it." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


Need to know

Florida defenseman Keith Yandle played his 798th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NHL and fifth-longest in history. The record is 964, held by Doug Jarvis (1975-87). ... Shattenkirk's goal was his 350th NHL point (75 goals, 275 assists). He played the past two seasons for the New York Rangers. Maroon played last season for the St. Louis Blues. ... The Lightning played a video tribute for Panthers defenseman Anton Stralman midway through the first period. Stralman played five seasons for the Lightning (2014-19). He was plus-1 Thursday. ... Lightning center Yanni Gourde won nine of 11 face-offs. ... Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov had a game-high seven shots on goal.


What's next

Panthers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, SUN, NHL.TV)

Lightning: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Kucherov, Lightning power past Panthers

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