Florida Panthers get struck by the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-5

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 30: Ondrej Palat
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 30: Ondrej Palat /

The Florida Panthers just came off a thriller against the Detroit Red Wings a couple of nights ago. Although, were they able to transfer that hunger into this match?

The usual story has been that the Florida Panthers get off to a great start and open up the period with a goal. Well, that storyline didn’t quite happen tonight as the Lightning struck first. Just before the three-minute mark hit, Brayden Point tipped home a shot from the point and opened up the scoring.

Less than two minutes later and Nikita Kucherov added a second for the Bolts. After receiving a pass from Steven Stamkos, Nikita quickly released the puck off his stick and found his shot going top-shelf over James Reimer’s shoulder. Things were starting to go from bad to worse for our Cats.

Luckily though, it was Aaron Ekblad who came in and saved the day six and a half minutes later. Jonathan Huberdeau quickly dished out a pass to Ekblad down along the board side, where Aaron took a quick wrister and unexpectedly found his initial shot going in. Aaron’s third goal of the season would cut the Lightning’s lead down to one:

Shortly after the Ekblad goal and the Bolts found themselves on the scoreboard once again. Steven Stamkos received a one-time pass from Victor Hedman, only to find himself ripping one top-shelf over Reimer’s blocker. It seemed as if the Panthers were starting to gain momentum again, up until Stamkos extended his sides’ lead.

It was Aleksander Barkov though who finished off the period with the final goal. 53 seconds remaining in the opening period and Barkov slotted home his fourth goal of the season. The Panthers would head to the locker room a goal down:

After getting off to a great start to open up the second, Jonathan Huberdeau buried home his fifth goal of the season and the game’s tying goal. The goal would come off a great passing play between both Barkov and Huberdeau. The two, were certainly putting on a show.

Immediately after Huberdeau’s goal, the Lightning struck quickly once again. Ondrej Palat received a nice pass from Brayden Point up high and was left tapping home the Bolts’ fourth goal of the night. This goal proved to be costly as the Panthers immediately began to crumble.

A couple of minutes later and the Lightning extended their lead to two. Sergachev threw a puck on goal, only to find Yanni Gourde who tipped the initial shot. James Reimer was immediately pulled right after the fifth goal and was replaced by Antti Niemi.

Five minutes before the period ended and Namestnikov added some more salt to the Panthers’ wound. Namestnikov was found open in the slot by Kucherov, eventually tallying his fifth goal of the season. The goal would send the Bolts headed to the locker room up by three:

The Panthers had a very steep hill to climb in the third period and took a big step five minutes in. Jamie McGinn would waste no time and quickly brought some life back into this game. But no matter how many times the Panthers fought back, the Lightning would “one-up” them every time.

Steven Stamkos tipped Jake Dotchin’s initial shot and tallied his second of the game. Evgeni Dadonov would answer back shortly after and brought the Cats back within two. The Panthers surged on late in the game, but it ended up being too little too late.

Anton Stralman would add an empty-netter to seal off his team’s victory and escape out of Sunrise with two points. Below, is your expected goals against vs expected goals for from tonight’s game:

Overall, you aren’t going to win too many games by giving up seven goals. The offense certainly did it’s job by potting five goals, but it was the defense that collapsed defensively and made a ton of costly errors. Your Florida Panthers are back in action on Thursday, November 2nd against the Columbus Blue Jackets @7:30pm.