Friday night the Florida Panthers took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fourth and final home game of their thanksgiving week feast. The Panthers were looking for their fourth consecutive win something they haven’s seen since March of 2008. The first period appeared as though both teams were suffering from that stuffed feeling of too much turkey with very little offense generated. There were only a total of 12 shots in the first as Tampa had 7 to the Panthers 5.
The second period was significantly more energized and exciting. Each team traded chances but it was the Panthers top line again coming thru for Florida. Stephen Weiss made a clutch defensive play and picked up a loose puck and raced down the wing with Tomas Flesichmann and placed a perfect pass on Flash’s stick who shot it past Mathieu Garon to give Florida the lead. Jose Theodore was brilliant when called upon during the first 40 minute, and at one point made a terrific save as he was sprawled out on all fours.
Failure to score on power play chances would haunt the Panthers and finally Vincent Lecavalier jammed home a rebound to tie the game at one in the third period. Also the Panthers are still relying on one line and Jason Garrison for goals, and this certainly wasn’t helped as Tomas Kopecky was a late scratch due to back spasms. The teams ended up tied at one a piece after regulation. Shortly after overtime began, Panther defenceman Dmitry Kuilov was called for interference and the Lighting had a four on three advantage. With 2:31 left in the extra frame Steven Stamkos scores from the top of the circle giving the Lightning the victory. Remember to visit Bolts By the Bay for their version of tonight’s game.
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