Game Recap: Palat’s Late Goal Lifts Lightning To Come From Behind 3-2 Win Over Panthers


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.

Yanni Gourde and Nikita Kucherov scored for the Bolts (32-26-9) and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy remained superb making 32 saves.

The physical first period set the tone for this one as J.T. Brown and Luke Witkowski dropped the gloves early on.

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.

The Panthers Mark Pysyk scored his fourth of the season at 19:13 from Reilly Smith and Aleksander Barkov to put Florida up 2-0.

Shots for the period were 13-12 in favor of Florida.

The second period saw the Lightning get one back as Nikita Kucherov scored his 31st, a career high. The power play goal was assisted by Victor Hedman (45) and Jonathan Drouin (25).

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.

Game Recap: Palat's Late Goal Lifts Lightning To Come From Behind 3-2 Win Over Panthers
TAMPA, FL – MARCH 11: Yanni Gourde #65 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his first career NHL goal against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Amalie Arena on March 11, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Gourde is the fourth Lightning player all-time to score his first career goal shorthanded.

That’s the fourth rookie to score his first NHL goal this season for the Bolts. (Matthew Peca, Yanni Gourde, Brayden Point, Adam Erne)

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.

Ondrej Palat scored his 14th of the year and 200th career point on a redirect at 17:37 from Andrej Sustr (8) to give the Lightning the win 3-2.

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.

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