This one hurts. Not only do the Panthers fall to 0-2-1 against their in-state rivals, but they also miss an opportunity to get out of last place in the Eastern Conference.
This one really hurts. You are not supposed to lose games when you out shoot your opponent 39-13. The Panthers held the Lightning to six shots through the first two periods. Six shots!
Rough starts: Can somebody make sure Jacob Markstrom knows when these games are starting? The Lightning scored 1:36 into the game on their first shot on net. Thats three out of the last four games that the opposition have scored on the first shot. Florida has gone down 1-0 within the first three minutes of their past four games, all losses.
Special teams proved to be the difference in the game tonight. The Panthers went 0-4 with the man advantage while the Bolts went 1-2. The power play goal was scored in the third period by none other than Steven Stamkos. Stamkos let loose a shot from the goal line that deflected off Markstrom and found a way into the back of the net.
The Panthers dominated the Lightning everywhere except for on the scoreboard. While Florida out shot the Lightning 17-3 in the first period, it was Tampa who had the 2-0 lead. Jacob Markstrom had a rough first period making one lonely save in the opening frame.
Kris Versteeg looked to have hurt his knee in the third period. This is not good for the Panthers as Versteeg was playing in only his third game back from injury. Versteeg scored his second goal of the season tonight and his line, Versteeg-Goc-Fleischmann, was buzzing all night. If Versteeg goes down for an extended amount of time, it could hurt the Panthers attempts feature him in a trade. Versteeg has been rumored to be one of the key players the Panthers may try to move at the deadline.
Anders Lindback won the battle of the 6’6″ Swedish goaltenders. If the Lightning and Panthers have their way, this will not be the last matchup between Lindback and Jacob Markstrom. Both teams expect their Swede to be their goalie of the future.
The Big three were out in full force tonight for the Lightning. Tampa Bay received goals from Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. St. Louis also had two assists while Lecavalier had an assist as well.
Things don’t get any easier for the Panthers as they travel to Boston for a Thursday night game against the Bruins. The loss gave Florida an 0-2-1 record over their now defunct three game home stand.