As expected, after a 6-3 shellacking by the Detroit Red Wings, the Tampa Bay Lightning came back with a good effort against their Southern Floridian rivals. In the end though it was another disappointing night as they lose their third in a row.
The Lightning headed into the waning minutes of the third frame with a 2-1 lead when Nate Thompson was sent to the box on a questionable boarding call that the Panthers would not waste that gift by the referees. Mike Santorelli put in a rebound goal off a point shot to knot the game up.
The Lightning got off to a good start with a Bergeron score 5 minutes into the game, but the moment of the night occurred when sophomore sensation Steven Stamkos was sent into the boards by Florida D-man Mike Santorelli as they chased a dump into the boards. Santorelli put a shoulder into Stamkos that caused him to lose his balance and go sideways into the boards.
Bolts fans let out a sigh of relief when he returned. Instead of losing their leading goal scorer and Hart Trophy candidate, Stamkos returned with a 24 minute performance and provided the Lightning’s closest chance to winning the game in OT when he hit the post on a one-timer effort.
Unfortunately for Stamkos and the Lightning, they couldn’t put the game away in the shootout. Mike Santorelli striked again after putting a nifty move on Dan Ellis to score the only goal in the shootout. Panther goalie Scott Clemmensen made his three saves look easy to put the Lightning away adding to his 34 saves in regulation and overtime.
David Booth was responsible for the first Panthers goal off a fluttering shot going wide that deflected off his leg and into the open side of the net. The Panthers were 2/3 on the powerplay as the Lightning went 0/6 including an opportunity in overtime. You know that Guy Boucher is going to put his guys through some man-advantage drills in the next practice.
Sean Bergenheim had the other goal for the Lightning :14 seconds into the third period. New addition, Eric Brewer looked solid finishing the game a +1 and logging nearly 18 minutes on the ice.
In recap, the Lightning just simply couldn’t put away the goals they needed and the Panthers did. The Panthers gave the Lightning enough chances on the powerplay to pull ahead, but they just couldn’t figure it out. Even though the special teams play wasn’t great for the Lightning, it would suit them well to continue playing the way they did in this game this as the Pacific Division leading Coyotes come into town. The Coyotes are sure to be tough to handle as they try to keep pace in the ludicrous race for positioning that is happening in the Pacific Division and Western Conference standings.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Tran
New York transplant from California, and an avid blogger and sports fan. As he tends to do every year, he picks an Eastern Conference NHL team to root for until they become too good and he fears for his team out west. If you want to talk hockey with me, feel free to send a line.