Benoit Pouliot’s overtime strike lifts Lightning past Panthers
Sunrise, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Benoit Pouliot scored two goals, including the game-winning score in overtime, as thevTampa Bay Lightning overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Florida Panthers, 6-5, Saturday at BB&T Center.
Pouliot found the back of the net with a wrister from 19 feet with assists from Tom Pyatt and Marc-Andre Bergeron at the 1:19 mark of the extra period as the Lightning ended a six-game losing streak and improved to 7-6-1.
Pouliot also scored in the first period to bring his total this season to five while Steven Stamkos banked his eighth and ninth goals and had an assist for three points for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Alex Killorn and Teddy Purcell while netminder Anders Lindback tallied 25 saves in his return from a one-game absence due to illness. Purcell and Martin St. Louis also recorded two assists each.
Jonathan Huberdeau led the Panthers’ scoring parade with his sixth goal of the year while Tomas Kopecky and Shawn Matthias both netted their third goal of the year for the Panthers (4-6-4), who lost a 5-3 in the third period en route to their fourth straight defeat.
Jack Skille and Jerred Smithson also tallied goals goaltender Jose Theodore stopped 30 shots for the Panthers.
Matthias gave the Panthers the early lead with his third goal of the year, 48 seconds into the first period but Pouliot tied the count four minutes later.
The Lightning grabbed a 2-1 lead after Killorn scored at 6:51 when his seemingly harmless wrist shot from the slot found its way between Theodore’s pads.
Skille tied the game 2:27 into the second period with help from Matthias before Stamkos put the Lightning ahead on a rebound after Theodore made a spectacular save on Purcell’s redirect.
The Panthers then scored three straight goals for a 5-3 lead just 3:24 into the final period but the Lightning answered with two scores to send the game to overtime.