Tampa Bay, FL – The Florida Panthers closed out the preseason with a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at Amalie Arena. Florida’s focus now turns to their 2014 regular season opener on Thursday, Oct. 9, when they visit Tampa Bay for a rematch against the Lightning at 7:30 p.m.
F Aleksander Barkov put the Panthers on the scoreboard early in the first period with a power play tally. D Brian Campbell let a shot go from the point and Barkov tipped the puck past Lightning netminder Ben Bishop at 3:21. Tampa Bay knotted the game at 1-1 minutes later, when F Nikita Kucherov found the back of the net at 5:46. Lightning F Steven Stamkos made it 2-1 with a power play goal midway through the period and J.T. Brown closed out the scoring for the Bolts, with just over a minute to play in the opening frame.
Tampa Bay opened up a three-goal lead on the Cats when D Anton Stralman notched the lone goal of the middle frame at 4:40. The Cats outshot the Bolts 16-6 in the second period.
Panthers G Al Montoya made 24 saves on 28 shots. Florida outshot Tampa Bay 37-28.
The Panthers travel to West Point, NY, on Sunday morning for three days of training and team bonding exercises. The Cats host the New Jersey Devils in the club’s home opener in South Florida on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.