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Panthers Wrap-Up: Lightning 6, Panthers 5 (OT)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 2 2 0 5
Lightning 2 1 2 1 6
FLA - S. Matthias (3), J. Skille (2), J. Smithson (1), J. Huberdeau (6), T. Kopecky (3)
TBL - B. Pouliot (4), A. Killorn (1), S. Stamkos (8), PP - S. Stamkos (9), T. Purcell (4), B. Pouliot (5)

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning had a third consecutive third-period comeback Saturday afternoon. This time, they made it count.

Benoit Pouliot scored his second goal 1:19 into overtime as the Lightning rallied from a two-goal deficit and snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Florida Panthers 6-5.

"You’re not going to get in the playoffs with 48 points. If you get one point a game, it’s just not going to work. We have to find a way to get a more complete effort."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. A Quick Start: In what seems to be an on-off switch, the Panthers and Lightning offenses hit the on button early as they combined for three goals in the opening seven minutes of the game. It was the Panthers that got the first goal of the game and it came just 48 seconds in as Shawn Matthias redirected Mike Weaver's point shot past Anders Lindback. It was the quickest goal of the season someone scored in a Panthers game. The lead would not last however as Benoit Pouliot would score what would be one of his two goals in the contest four minutes later. Then a little over two minutes after that it was rookie Alexander Killorn netting his first NHL goal by scoring from the slot. The two teams had good pace to the start of the game with the two combining for 21 shots.

2. Flipping The Switch: Whenever Florida would score, Tampa Bay seemed to have an answer and that was the case in the first and early in the second. Florida however seemed to take the momentum and that was thanks to a late second period goal off the stick of Jerred Smithson. After Jack Skille, Matthias and Weaver combined to tie the score at two with 2:27 gone in the second, Steven Stamkos began his big night less than a minute later with a snipe past Jose Theodore for the 3-2 lead. Florida kept on pushing and was rewarded with Smithson's backhanded rebound goal with 4.2 seconds left in the period. The Panthers fed off that late goal as they scored twice in the opening 3:24 of the third. First it was rookie Jonathan Huberdeau with a sweet finish off of Drew Shore's cross-crease pass and then Tomas Kopecky scored from a tight angle on a delayed penalty, giving the Panthers a two-goal cushion and a 5-3 lead.

3. Hitting Groundhog's Day: When things aren't going great, it just seems to snowball and like the movie Groundhog's Day, the script fell into place once again. Similar to Washington the Panthers held a two-goal lead in the third and just like the Capitals game on Tuesday, Florida could only come out with one out of the two points. It all started with the Panthers being whistled for two penalties 18 seconds apart after getting a power play opportunity. Stamkos fired a shot past Theodore for a 4-on-3 power play goal making it a one goal game with 7:28 gone in the period. Then with Lindback on the bench for the extra skater, the Bolts superstar found Teddy Purcell in the slot for the equalizer with less than 11 seconds left on the clock. In overtime, it was Pouliot playing hero for his game-winner just 1:19 in. Like Bill Murray in the movie, the Panthers have to find a way to end the cycle and pull out the two points when leading in the third period. Hopefully it will happen sooner than later.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Nick_Lonewolf: Come on @FlaPanthers 3 straight OTL's That's 3 points! One more game on this homestand. Let's make it a W and add 2 pts to the total on Mon!

@BSchulk91: Another disappointing loss by the @FlaPanthers :-/ #getittogether

@Jeggthree: These games drive me crazy. I can not imagine what it's like for you. Hope you get it turned around.

@martysg: Really hoping I can bring a W to the @FlaPanthers Monday night...this recent streak has been painful to watch

@Imcangel13: Tonight was disappointing #statusquo #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

C.j. Rafferty: Twice in 5 days. Im literally in disbelief.

Nick Maddaloni: Another heartbteaker

Richard Herman Dobler: What a crazy game, and a tough loss.

Steven Rudnick: 3 OT loses in a row.....WTH! Need to do something about this 4 on 4!

Joseph Sisto: This is ridiculous.

2. Forwards Shawn Matthias (1-1-2) and Jack Skille (1-1-2) along with defenseman Mike Weaver (0-2-2) combined to score the first two Panthers goals on the night. Skille and Weaver also recorded two point nights on the same night before, last coming on March 4, 2012 against Ottawa.

5. The Panthers threw a barage of shots on Anders Lindback within a short amount of time in the first period. About midway through the period, the Cats combined for five shots in a span of 14 seconds but couldn't find the back of the net.

The loss definitely stings but the Panthers continue to pick up points, now having collected points in six of the last seven games (3-1-4).

10.2. After allowing a goal late in the second period to tie the game at three (4.2 seconds left), the Lightning returned the favor on the Panthers, getting a goal late in the third (10.4 seconds) to knot the score at three, thanks to Teddy Purcell.

48. It didn't take long for the Panthers to get on the board as Shawn Matthias redirected Mike Weaver's point shot past Lindback just 48 seconds in. It was the quickest goal in a Panthers game in the first 14 games..

Steven Stamkos
The Panthers killer continued his dominating play in scoring two goals, including the one that made it a 5-4 game and then setting up the tying goal late in the third.

 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points, 5 Shots, 20:36 TOI

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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