By Leo Haggerty
Archived under Featured Articles – Professional & Tampa Bay Lightning






The Lightning finished up this five-game set with 5-1 victory over the Panthers.  That moved Tampa Bay to 18-13-4 on the year and that equates to 40 points.  The loss dropped Florida to 18-13-5 and that adds up to 41 points.

The Lightning came out with a tremendous amount of energy and the Bolts were rewarded just 41 seconds into the contest.  Point (14) redirected a shot from the right wing by Cernak (3) that eluded Panthers G Sergei Bobrovsky.  Kucherov (26), who recorded his 500th career point, was credited with the other assist.

Tampa Bay made it 2-0 at 15:06 of the opening period when Hedman (8) converted from the high slot.  The assists went to Point (14) and Palat (10).

The Bolts extended their lead to 3-0 at 18:03.  With the Lightning on the power play after F Jonathan Huberdeau was whistled for cross checking at 16:32, Sergachev (11) deposited the biscuit over the right shoulder of #72 in white. The only assist went to Palat (11) and that’s how the first period would come to an end.

The second period started with Florida on the power-play.  Killorn was called for high sticking at 19:47 of the opening twenty minutes and the majority of that penalty extended into the second stanza.  It became a two-man advantage for the Panthers for when the Bolts were assessed a bench unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty.

Tampa Bay staved off the first penalty to get through the 5-on-3 but couldn’t kill off the second one.  Florida cut the deficit to 3-1 when Huberdeau (14) slid the puck past Vasilevskiy at 2:47.

The Bolts stretched their lead to 4-1 with another power-play marker at 5:53.  Killorn (11) tapped in a Stamkos (18) one-timer from the left circle that rebounded to #17 right in the crease and he deposited the puck top shelf.  The other assist went to Hedman (23).

Tampa Bay made it 5-1 on their third power-play of the evening at 9:52.  Kucherov (13) took a pass from the slot from Point (15) and deposited a wrist shot into the back of the net.  Stamkos (19) was given the other assist and that was the arithmetic as both teams went to the locker room for the second intermission.

The third period belonged to both goalies with some on the spectacular side until 1:55 to go in the tilt.  Off an offensive zone faceoff, Hedman (9) received a perfect pass from Kucherov (27) after Point (16) won the faceoff. Still, #72 in white made 11 saves and #88 in blue turned away 10 shots.

With the 6-1 victory, Vasilevskiy moved to 15-9-2.  Bobrovsky fell to 13-10-4.

The Bolts start the next set of five games with back-to-back home tilts with Atlantic Division foes Montreal followed by Detroit.  Until then, Happy Holiday to all.