March 7, 2018 / 3:46 AM / 6 months ago

Point lifts Lightning over Panthers in OT

Brayden Point scored with 2:11 left in overtime as the host Tampa Bay Lightning earned a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday hight at Amalie Arena.

The loss snapped Florida’s season-best six-game win streak.

Tampa Bay’s win spoiled a heroic effort by Florida’s Nick Bjugstad, who scored three goals for his first career hat trick. He has 16 points in his past 16 games.

Florida’s Vincent Trocheck tied the score 4-4 with a power-play goal with 5:25 left in the third period, but the Panthers came up short in overtime.

It was Tampa Bay’s sixth consecutive overtime game, a franchise record.

Yanni Gourde scored two goals and added an assist for Tampa Bay. Gourde, a 26-year-old who entered the NHL as an undrafted player, tied Tampa Bay’s rookie single-season record with 24 goals.

J.T. Miller, acquired from the New York Rangers just prior to last month’s trade deadline, and Alex Killorn scored Tampa Bay’s other goals. Miller has 15 goals this season - including two in four games with the Lightning.

Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 45 saves to earn the win as Tampa Bay has points in eight straight games (7-0-1).

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo made 28 saves and his personal five-game win streak was snapped.

Gourde opened the scoring as Tampa Bay benefitted from a fortuitous bounce. The play started when Andrej Sustr’s shot missed the net and ricocheted off the glass behind the goal. The puck went straight to Gourde, who stuffed it home to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead with 10:38 left in the first period.

Less than two minutes later, the Lightning increased their lead to 2-0, feasting off a Panthers turnover. Gourde made a slick pass to Miller, who roofed a backhander past Luongo.

Florida got on the board with just 1:37 left in the first period. Bjugstad took a bad angle shot from below the goal-line but managed to score when the puck hit Vasilevskiy in the mask.

The Lightning came back to take a 3-1 lead on Gourde’s goal with just 87 seconds expired in the second period.

At that point, it appeared to be a personal duel between Gourde and Bjugstad, who again drew Florida within one goal, this time scoring on a rebound with 13:35 elapsed in the second period.

Less than three minutes later, Tampa Bay extended its lead to 4-2 as Killorn cleaned up after Luongo stopped a Steven Stamkos slapshot.

It took Florida just 5:25 to tie the score in the third period. Bjugstad’s third goal was followed by a Trocheck tally.

—Field Level Media

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