TBL@FLA R1, Gm2: Bobrovsky makes a superb save on Dumba's blast

SUNRISE, Fla -- Sergei Bobrovsky said he had not yet seen a video of the play.

When asked about a specific detail, the Florida Panthers goalie said he could not remember.

That’s OK, because anyone who was in Amerant Bank Arena for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday will never forget it.

What he was talking about was an incredible, almost hard-to-believe save he made on Matt Dumba with 5:57 remaining in the second period that kept the game tied, a game the Panthers would eventually win 3-2 on Carter Verhaeghe’s fifth career overtime goal to take a 2-0 series in the best-of-7 series.

Game 3 is Thursday at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; MAX, TBS, BSFLX, BSSUN, BSFL, TVAS2, SN).

“My vantage point was on the bench, I was in shock,” Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. “It was incredible. You love to see it.”

Panthers coach Paul Maurice, however, didn’t really see it. He said his vantage point from behind the bench is not great, and he was upset about the play that led to the Lightning’s scoring chance.

“I was using unkind language for the play, how it got there. There’s just profanity up and down the ice,” Maurice said. “So you don’t see from the bench as much as you think, the corners to the net, so I had no idea how it came back across the grain. But somebody got called names. And thanks to ‘Bob’ we can all laugh about it.”

What Maurice was able to see was Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli bring the puck into the offensive zone with Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour in pursuit. Cirelli was able to get off a shot but missed the net.

The puck bounced off the end boards and to the other side of the net where Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov was standing. Bobrovsky lunged across the crease in an attempt to stop Kucherov’s shot and went down to the ice, almost falling on his belly. Instead of shooting, however, Kucherov slid the puck across the crease where Dumba was all by himself. Dumba flicked a one-time, backhanded shot toward the open net, but Bobrovsky somehow got back up, and with his back facing Dumba, stuck out his left arm and stopped the puck from going in with his forearm.

It was the most incredible of his 21 saves.

Call it the Bob-rob-sky.

“I think the first shot he missed the net and the second one I was a little bit late behind the play,” Bobrovsky said. “It was desperation, I tried to throw as much body as possible and was able to make the save.”

The crowd of 19,484 seemed stunned at first before breaking into chants of “Bob-by, Bob-by.”

“That was unbelievable,” Florida defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. “Obviously we know that he can make those saves, but that was something else. That’s what we have on this team, we have big-time players when we need them the most.”

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos summed it best from the opposing standpoint.

“Call it skill, call it luck, call it whatever you want. I mean it’s an athletic goalie and he makes a desperation move and…[heck] of a save,” Stamkos said.

The Bobrovsky save was the highlight in a night of big-time saves from him and Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished with 34 saves, 24 coming from the second period on after the Panthers led 2-0 on goals from Sam Bennett and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Perhaps Vasilevskiy’s biggest save came early in the third period when he stopped Ekblad on a breakaway while the Lighting were on a four-minute power play.

“Well, you’re looking at two of the best,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “To sit here and be on the biggest stage in the greatest league in the world and watch two guys like that go toe to toe, sometimes you have to sit here, I know I’m the coach of one of the teams, but kind of marvel.”

TBL@FLA R1, Gm2: Vasilevskiy makes huge stop on breakaway attempt

The Lightning were able to get to Bobrovsky early in the second period. After being held to three shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, they struck quickly, with Brayden Point deflecting a shot by Anthony Duclair under Bobrovsky 48 seconds into the second period. Nearly five minutes later, Stamkos struck on the power play, rifling home a one-timer to make it a 2-2 game at 5:46 of the second.

From there each goalie held the fort, forcing the game to overtime, where Verhaeghe would take a pass in the slot, cut across the crease and backhand the pass over a sprawling Vasilevskiy at 2:59.

It’s a moment that may not have been possible without Bobrovsky’s save on Dumba.

“We have an amazing guy in the net,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. “I saw it and will probably see it for the rest of my life somewhere.

“That’s what he does. You cannot explain it.”

NHL.com independent correspondents George Richards and Corey Long contributed to this report.