Stamkos, Point keep Bolts perfect with shootout win

TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game with 5.5 seconds left in regulation on a goal by Steven Stamkos then edged the Florida Panthers in shootout with rookie Brayden Point scoring the winning shot in the sixth frame and goalie Ben Bishop making one last save for a 4-3 win on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning (3-0-0) stayed perfect on the season with Point beating James Reimer low and to the right for the winning shot. Bishop who made 30 saves in the game stopped four shots in shootout for the win. In the third frame Vincent Trocheck misfired and he tried to score on a second shot but it was initially ruled no goal for a Tampa Bay win. After review officials determined the puck stayed in motion and the goal was valid extending the shootout.

Panthers defenseman Michael Matheson had scored with 4:08 left to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead and the Lightning pulled Bishop with a minute left hoping to get the equalizer. The Lightning pulled Bishop with about a minute left for the extra attacker and Stamkos got a loose puck behind the Florida goal late passing out to defenseman Victor Hedman who passed back to him for a wide shot to the far top corner of the net and his second goal of the season.

Reimer making his Florida (2-0-1) debut had outdueled Bishop making 25 saves until allowing the late goal.

Matheson's goal came after center Greg McKegg took a long pass down the right side and skated behind the goal firing a pass that Matheson shot past Bishop for the late lead.

Florida tied the game early in the third on another loose puck around the net with Jussi Jokinen feeding Vincent Trocheck for his second goal of the season with 14:34 left in the third.

Tampa Bay picked up a power play just 19 seconds later after a fight but the Lightning weren't able to muster so much as a shot in the two-minute advantage. The Panthers had near-misses in the final period with two shots caroming off the post.

Florida had a late power play as well after Tampa Bay's Jonathan Drouin was called for hooking but they too couldn't convert the opportunity getting only one shot to send the tie into the final eight minutes.

The Lightning who rallied from two goals down in each of their first two wins fell behind 1-0 in the second period before rallying for two goals and the lead.

After a scoreless opening period Florida jumped ahead with a short-handed goal early in the second. Derek MacKenzie stole the puck from Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat and fed a centering pass to Colton Sceviour who beat Bishop for his second goal of the season at 2:38.

Tampa Bay tied the game soon after as Nikita Kucherov collected a loose puck behind the Florida goal and fed Alex Killorn who scored for his third goal in as many games to tie the game at 6:18 of the second.

Reimer gave up another goal to surrender the lead before the period was over.

Stamkos got a loose puck skated behind the Florida net and then fired a shot at the back of Reimer's pads with Palat shooting in a rebound for his first goal of the season. Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead at 16:21 of the second.

Florida hadn't allowed more than nine shots in any of its first six periods coming in but the Lightning did that in both of the first two periods getting 10 in the first and 12 in the second.

NOTES: The Lightning honored former captain Vincent Lecavalier before the game with the ceremonial puck drop. Lecavalier a key part of Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team remains the franchise's career leader in goals (383) and total games played (1 037) over 14 seasons from 1998-2013. The 36-year-old retired after last season playing his final season with the Flyers and Kings. ... For the third straight game D Slater Koekkoek was the Lightning's only healthy scratch. The Panthers did not dress LW Shawn Thornton and D Steven Kampfer. ... Panthers C Jonathan Marchessault got an early reunion with the Lightning the team for which he played the last two seasons totaling eight goals in 47 games. He had two goals and two assists in his first two games with Florida.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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