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game recap

Panthers win in overtime, end four-game losing streak

Jonathan Marchessault scores with 3:11 left to defeat Lightning

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- James Reimer made 31 saves in an unexpected start and Jonathan Marchessault scored on the power play with 3:11 left in overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Reimer started after Roberto Luongo sustained a minor injury during the morning skate. Reimer was away from the Panthers for the last two games of a four-game road trip after flying home to be with his wife, April, who is expecting their first child.

"Everything was under control back home," Reimer said. "I was just worried about playing the game. You never know when it's going to come. You just want everyone, mom and baby, to be healthy. That's the main things you worry about. When you come here, I figured that things are pretty safe at home … although maybe I should go check my cell phone. You come here and you just want to get the job done."

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Lightning highlights 

 

With Tyler Johnson in the penalty box for interference, Marchessault scored when he one-timed Keith Yandle's pass at the side of the net.

The Panthers (21-19-10) lost their previous five games after regulation. The Lightning (22-22-6) have lost their past five games in overtime or a shootout.

"It was huge," Marchessault said. "We didn't have the success we wanted in OT and in the shootout this year, but we came out strong. It was a good overall game for us."

Video: TBL@FLA: Reimer turns away multiple scoring chances

Jussi Jokinen had a goal and an assist, and Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, who ended a four-game losing streak. Vincent Trocheck had an assist for his 18th point (10 goals, eight assists) in his past 15 games.

Nikita Kucherov scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost four of its past five games (1-2-2). Andrei Vasilevskiy, making his second consecutive start, made 35 saves. He stopped 34 of 36 shots in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday to end his six-game losing streak.

Tampa Bay was held to one goal for the third time in five games.

"Some of the Grade [A chances] we have we're not finding a way to bury them in the back of the net," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "When you get to overtime and take penalties, you're pretty much giving the game away."

It was the last game for each team prior to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

 

Goal of the game

Marchessault scored after a nifty play that included Jokinen's pass to Yandle in the slot.

"I shot the one before and was kind of, if that didn't go in, then I was passing it," Yandle said. "I gave myself one shot. It's all [Marchessault] finishing that there."

Video: TBL@FLA: Marchessault nets game-winning PPG in OT

 

Save of the game

In the first 15 seconds of the second period, Reimer made a pad save after Vladislav Namestnikov redirected Kucherov's pass in the high slot.

 

Highlight of the game

The Panthers used a perfectly executed 3-on-3 rush to take a 1-0 lead on Jokinen's shorthanded goal in the first period. Yandle carried the puck over the blue line, passed to Trocheck to his right, and he slid a pass across the crease before Jokinen scored from a sharp angle.

Video: TBL@FLA: Jokinen opens scoring with a SHG in the 1st

 

Unsung performance of the game

Tampa Bay center Cedric Paquette stopped two Florida scoring chances when he blocked a shot by Jared McCann from the bottom of the right circle in the first period and later got his stick on Bjugstad's stick in the slot in the second period when Bjugstad was about to shoot.

 

They said it

"We're extremely frustrated right now. Let's be honest, that was a long road trip. It was so long we sat through two presidents. It could have been an unreal trip but it turns into a mediocre trip because we only got six points out of it." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper on going 2-2-2 during a six-game road trip

 

"Him and I talked yesterday. I thought he was putting way too much pressure on himself to get us out of this hole that we're in and told him, 'Go out and play your game.' I look at him almost as an extension of the coaching staff, he's so smart. I'm hoping that goal will loosen up his hands and he'll be able to relax a little bit over the break and then come back ready to really get us going." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe on forward Jussi Jokinen

 

Need to know

Rowe said Luongo would be ready for the Panthers' next game Tuesday. … Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison (illness) was back in the lineup after missing two games. … Lightning forward Michael Bournival missed the game because of an upper-body injury; he's listed as day to day. … Defenseman Alex Petrovic and forward Nick Bjugstad returned for Florida, after missing 33 and nine games.

 

What's next

Lightning: Host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, TVA Sports, SUN, NESN, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV) 

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