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Panthers Wrap-Up: Lightning 5, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 1 0 1
LIGHTNING 1 3 1 0 5
FLA - S. Matthias (3)

TBL - M. St Louis (6), T. Pyatt (1), S. Stamkos (13), R. Malone (5), S. Stamkos (14)
TAMPA BAY (AP) - Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, Mathieu Garon made 24 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 on Saturday night.

Martin St. Louis, Tom Pyatt and Ryan Malone also scored for the Lightning, who were coming off a 2-1 overtime victory at Florida on Friday night.

"I would just say our power play was a pretty good example of our overall game that we didn't have much jump out there."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Fast Moving First: While Friday night's game seemed to go by slow, it was the total opposite Saturday night in Tampa Bay. There were very few whistles as the two teams took turns attacking the opposition. Martin St Louis scored the frame's only goal in the period and that came 2:07 in as he deposited the puck into the wide open net with the Panthers out of position on the rush. All in all, there was just eight face-offs and that included the one to open up the game. Puck drop was timed at 7:07 and the end of the period came at 7:35. That's just 28 minutes or real time.

2. Game Gets Away In The Second: The Panthers had their chances but Tampa Bay put the game away in the second as they scored three times in the frame. All of the scoring came within seven minutes of action. Tom Pyatt scored on a pretty backhand, scoring top shelf on the rush from in close 3:49 into the period. Then it was Friday's hero Steven Stamkos who scored off his skate on a redirect at 6:02. Florida would fall behind even more when Ryan Malone followed up on Stamkos' shot on the rush with 9:25 left to play. What could have been anyones game quickly went sour in the middle stanza.

3. Power Play Goes Missing: For the second time in two nights, the Lightning frustrated the Panthers power play despite numerous opportunities. Tampa Bay and Mathieu Garon thwarted four Panthers opportunities Friday night. They followed that up Saturday night in not allowing a goal on six power play chances. What makes the power play chances even more frustrating is the fact that Florida had just 10 shots on goal during the 10 opportunities. They posted two shots on net on Friday during the four opportunities and six more shots on Saturday. What had been a bright spot earlier in the year, has turned into a question mark the last few games. It's back to the drawing board as the Panthers try to get the power play back on track.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@hockeychic8: Glad I wasn't near a tv to see the game :-((( #FlaPanthers

@puckLife: Poor Markstrom. Didn't have a great game. Panthers weren't very solid in front of him. #flapanthers

@_DaraRoss: @FlaPanthers what happened? We drove all the way to see you from Boca? We will get them next time! Good luck on the road, see you on the 5

@jyjellyfish77: Damn #Tampa has @FlaPanthers number. @ftlRalphsMom @Flight_19

@erbacaaa: Well, the #FlaPanthers need to just chalk this one up as an off-night and regroup. We're still in the 2nd though. Theres always hope I guess

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Christian Dirmann: Ugh....that was embarrassing to watch >:(

Alex Laiacona: Well, we didn't get shut out.
AND we're still a lot higher than the lightning in the standings.
Bad weekend, guys. Let's regroup and get ready to blow the hurricanes away!

JDawg Brooks: Damn. Thats 2 straight to the Lightning. Lets bounce back Tuesday!!!

Thomas Ouillette: Glad I was away from the TV for this one. SAD!

Adam Hernandez: Well guys we got crushed we have to face it and move on These games happen now its the teams job to make sure it doesn't keep happening. The Caps lost so our seat at the top is still safe..for now. And as always GO CATS GO!!!


1. Lightning netminder Mathieu Garon was fantastic the last two games, holding the Panthers to just one goal in each of the games. Garon stopped 23 shots on Friday night and another 24 on Saturday.

Tampa Bay scored five goals on the night and all five of them came at even strength.

6. Florida definitely had their chances, getting six power play opportunities. They could only muster six shots on net over the 11:21 of time on the man advantage.

Tampa Bay took it to the Panthers in the opening period, outhitting Florida 15-3. Tampa finished with 17 more hits than Florida (32-19).

83. Center Tim Kennedy had a good day in the face-off circle, losing just once on the night. Kennedy went 5-of-6 on the draw.
Steven Stamkos
The Lightning sniper was at it again picking up two more goals and adding an assist. Stamkos is now second in the league in goals (14).

2 Goals, 1 Assist, +2, 4 Shots
Florida returns home for two days off before meeting another Southeast Division foe on Tuesday. While the Panthers have already seen Tampa Bay five times this season, it will be the first meeting of the year with the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina is off to a slow start this season, sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 8-12-4 record (20 points).

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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