November 22, 2018 / 3:38 AM / a month ago

Stamkos notches 4 points as Lightning pound Panthers

Steven Stamkos had one goal and three assists as the host Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers 7-3 on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Ryan McDonagh each had one goal and two assists.

Mathieu Joseph, Yanni Gourde, Adam Erne and Dan Girardi got Tampa Bay’s other goals. J.T. Miller added three assists for the Lightning.

Florida, playing its first game since 2017 All-Star center Vincent Trocheck went down with a broken right ankle, got goals from Troy Brouwer, Aleksander Barkov and Mike Hoffman. The goal by Barkov gave Florida 10 straight games scoring on its power play.

Hoffman, who also scored on the power play, extended his franchise-record points streak to 17 games.

Lightning goalie Louis Domingue, making his fifth straight start since Andrei Vasilevskiy fractured his left foot, made 40 saves to earn the win. Domingue is 6-3-0 this season.

Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, who made 22 saves, took the loss. Luongo allowed six goals and was pulled with 3:21 expired in the third period. James Reimer entered and stopped four of the five shots he faced.

Tampa Bay needed just 59 seconds to open the scoring. Joseph stole the puck at the blue line from Panthers defenseman Alexander Petrovic and then scored five-hole on a breakaway backhander.

Florida tied the score 80 seconds later as Micheal Haley sent a perfect cross-ice lead pass to Brouwer, who skated in alone to the right circle and unleashed a wrist shot.

Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar was penalized for tripping Stamkos, and Tampa Bay went up 2-1 with 9:22 expired in the first on Kucherov’s power-play goal. Victor Hedman set it up by looking to his left, then dishing to his right to Kucherov, who ripped a one-timer past Luongo.

Tampa Bay extended its lead to 3-1 with 2:37 expired in the second. Miller won a battle along the right boards against Florida’s Keith Yandle, and that led to a give-and-go from Stamkos to Gourde, with the latter scoring at the doorstep.

Erne scored two minutes later, using his backhand to shovel in a rebound.

Florida closed its second-period deficit to 4-2 as Jonathan Huberdeau’s pass made it through traffic and found Barkov’s stick on the doorstep.

However, the rout was on as Stamkos, McDonagh and Girardi scored in the third period.

—Field Level Media

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