Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bolts Blow Two Goal Lead to Panthers, Fall 4-3

By JC De La Torre

The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the first period of their cross-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, outshooting Florida 11-4 and outscoring them 3-1 going into the first intermission. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, twenty minutes isn't an entire game and the Panthers came roaring back with three unanswered goals in the second period to pull off a 4-3 victory.

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos was a healthy scratch for the second time in five games as the Lightning continue on their strength and conditioning program for the 2008 #1 overall pick.

Vincent Lecavalier opened up the scoring at the 4:37 mark of the 1st and Vaclav Prospal added a power play goal at 13:36 to give the Lightning a 2-0 advantage. Florida got on the board late in the first with Greg Campbell's 9th of the season. A minute later, the Lightning answered with Ryan Malone's 13th goal of the season. That would be the extent of the Tampa Bay scoring.

The second period was all Panthers, as they received goals from Cory Stillman and Richard Zednik, outshooting Tampa Bay 13-9. With only one second left in the period and the game tied at 3, Jay Bouwmeester fired the puck toward the net on the power play and it got across the goal line before time expired, giving the Panthers a 4-3 lead they wouldn't relenquish.

In the third, the Lightning peppered Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun, who relieved Craig Anderson after Tampa Bay's third goal, outshooting the Panthers 13-4 but Vokoun make all thirteen saves and Florida held on for the victory.

"We had started the game great," Prospal told the St. Pete Times, "We didn't give them anything in the first period. In the second period, we gave them all the momentum."

1 comment:

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