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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Colton scores late, Lightning beat Panthers 2-1 in Game 2

Sunrise, Fla. ( Associated Press) – Ross Colton scored with 3.8 seconds remaining to help the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning win 2-1 over the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

A surprise finish put the Lightning 2-0 up in a best-of-seven series heading to Tampa for Game 3 on Sunday.

Colton headed the game for overtime before goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky scored in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky from a backhand pass from Nikita Kucherov, who chased a loose puck past the Florida net.

Tampa Bay’s power play was once again the catalyst, producing a first-period goal from Cory Perry after scoring three goals in the Lightning’s 4–1 win in Game 1.

Perry’s goal was the Lightning’s fourth of seven power-play opportunities to start the series.

Meanwhile, Florida’s power play continued to rock.

The Panthers scored the third-most power-play goals during the regular season, but entered the second game of the series for 21 in man-advantage situations through seven post-season games. They were 0 for 4 on Thursday night, the team’s only goal coming on a 30-foot shot from Etu Luostarinen, who overtook Andrei Vasilevsky in the second period with 1:53.

Florida got their third power-play opportunity in the final minute of the second period and were looking for some good, but were still tied at the break. The Panthers got another chance in the last minute of the third, but it went blank again.

For Tampa Bay, Wasilevsky intercepted 34 of 35 shots. Bobrovsky finished with 25 saves, including some big ones that kept the Lightning from breaking the first 1-all tie in the third period.

NOTES: Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunett is a finalist for NHL Coach of the Year, as is former New York Rangers Panthers coach Gerard Gallant and Calgary coach Darryl Sutter – brother of former Panthers coach Duane Sutter. The finalists were announced on Thursday. … Tampa’s Amalie Arena is hosting a concert on Saturday, so teams get an extra day off on Sunday and Monday before starting back to back with Games 3 and 4. … Thursday marked only the second day that the Panthers’ home playoff game was on the same day that the Miami Heat – their South Florida neighbors who play about 45 minutes south – had one of their own. The first such day was Tuesday.

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