The Panthers enter tonight down 2-0 to Tampa, and while this is not a must win game…this is a must win game. They cannot go down 3-0 to the defending champs and reasonably expect to win this series.
The Panthers came out buzzing, recognizing the urgency of this game, and Sam Bennett, fresh off his suspension, opened the scoring to put Florida up 1-0:
The Panthers didn’t stop there, with Radko Gudas adding to the scoring, putting Florida up 2-0 entering the second period:
We all knew the Lightning would not quietly go away, with Anthony Cirelli cutting the lead in half:
Shortly after, Ross Colton evened the score at two:
True to form, Tampa did not let up and this time it was the captain, Steven Stamkos, giving the Lightning their first lead of the night at 3-2:
Florida would even the score at 3 though, with a goal from Alex Wennberg, but Brayden Point and Alex Killorn added two for the Lightning to take a 5-3 lead in to the third:
In the third, the Panthers did not give up as Patric Hornqvist brought them within one:
Later in the third, the Panthers tied it up at 5 with a goal from Gustav Forsling:
The teams finished regulation tied 5-5.
Overtime lasted about 6 minutes when Ryan Lomberg scored the sixth Florida goal of the night, putting the Panthers right back in this series.