December 24, 2019 / 3:01 AM / a month ago

Lightning's power play overwhelms Panthers

EditorsNote: adds “Bay” in fourth graf; rewords 11th and 12th grafs

Dec 23, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) shoots against Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brayden Point tallied four points, Tampa Bay scored a trio of power-play goals, and the Lightning cruised past the visiting Florida Panthers 6-1 on Monday night.

Point scored a goal and added three assists, and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman added two goals and an assist. Nikita Kucherov notched a goal and two assists.

Mikhail Sergachev and Alex Killorn added markers for the Lightning, and Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat chipped in two assists each.

Tampa Bay won for the first time in three games (1-1-1) and finished 3-for-4 on the power play to claim the season series 3-1.

The Lightning, who play their next five against Atlantic Division opponents, have won nine straight against the Atlantic and own an 11-2-0 mark against divisional foes.

In a contest featuring two of the last three Vezina Trophy winners, Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (2019 winner) stopped 29 shots to beat Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky (2013, ‘17) in their fourth matchup this season.

Bobrovsky made 28 saves, and Jonathan Huberdeau tied for the team lead with his 14th goal for Florida, which lost for the first time in four games.

The Lightning scored just 41 seconds into the game when Erik Cernak — with five players clogged around Bobrovsky — fired a shot that struck Point and went in.

It moved Point into the team lead with 14 goals, while Kucherov recorded his 500th point on the tally.

Hedman ended good zone time by blistering home his eighth goal at 15:06, giving the former Norris Trophy winner points in 24 of the 33 games he has played in this season.

Sergachev notched his sixth when he finished the Lightning’s second man advantage for a 3-0 lead with less than two minutes left in the opening period. The home side controlled the action with a 16-9 shot advantage in the first 20 minutes.

Huberdeau cut the deficit to two goals from the high slot when he deflected down Aaron Ekblad’s shot, and it bounced in at 2:47 of the second period on a power play. But Killorn put in a man-advantage rebound three minutes later for a 4-1 lead.

Kucherov scored on the third straight power play at 9:52 of the second to extend Tampa Bay’s lead to four goals.

Slideshow (34 Images)

Florida played part of the second and all of the third without Ekblad. Fellow defenseman Anton Stralman left the game with 14:42 remaining after getting hit in the top of the helmet. He was bleeding from a cut but later returned to the bench.

Hedman rounded out the scoring with his second of the game at the 18:05 mark in the third.

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