Ondrej Palat scored with just over two minutes remaining in the third period to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a comeback 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on last night.
After a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy, the ageless one, Jaromir Jagr picked up the rebound and scored his 14th of the season to put the Panthers up 1-0 at 16:32. The goal was assisted by Jonathan Marchessault and Aleksander Barkov.
Shots for the period were 13-12 in favor of Florida.
Hedman leads the NHL in power-play assists.
Anton Stralman put on a hip check clinic in the second period as the game got nasty.
Yanni Gourde stole the puck at the Bolts blueline, fought off Vincent Trocheck and beat James Reimer for his first NHL goal, the shorthanded variety, at 10:11. The spectacular goal tied the game at two.
Gourde is the fourth Lightning player all-time to score his first career goal shorthanded.
Shots at the end of 40 minutes were 22-19 in favor of Tampa Bay.
Through two periods 50 minutes combined in penalties had been whistled in the rough and tumble game.
Shots ended up 34-34. Penalty minutes were Lightning 20 and Panthers 42. .
Andrei Vasilevskiy was sparkling again stopping 32 shots. He won his sixth straight 30-save game and is 5-0-1 since taking over as the number one goalie job.
Tampa Bay is 10-2-3 in their last 15 and are in the thick of playoff race.
“It is desperation mode and the guys are playing with it,” said coach Jon Cooper.
Cooper on Ondrej Palat,” Arguably the best player on the ice. He was a stud.”
Jonathan Drouin credited Lightning’s 5-on-3 penalty kill for changing the game, “We definitely grabbed momentum from that.”
Tampa Bay will travel to New York to play the Rangers on Monday at 7:00 PM.