A disappointing end to a nice comeback for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they fall to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday night. Both goalies played well early on. Mathieu Garon made a couple of tough saves early. Jacob Markstrom stopped a point-blank shot by Tom Pyatt. Markstrom also made a nifty glove save on Ondrej Palat. Florida went on the first power play of the game at the 8:23 mark when Tom Pyatt of the Lightning was whistled for hooking. Panthers took advantage just 13-seconds into it as Tomas Kopecky beat Garon at the 8:36 mark of the first period to give Florida a 1-0 lead. The Bolts drew two penalties late in the first and even had a 5-on-3 advantage for 24-seconds but came up empty. That’s because Markstrom was standing on his head, making some great saves. Bolts outshot the Cats 14-8 in the first but trailed 1-0.
The second period was highlighted by a skirmish between Lightning rookie defenseman Radko Gudas and Florida tough guy George Parros. Gudas sent Parros crashing into the boards with a tough check before dropping the gloves. Both received 5-minute majors for fighting. Markstrom continued to amaze in the second. He made terrific stops on Alex Killorn and Martin St. Louis on separate plays. Pyatt was whistled for interference late in the 2nd period and the once again, the Panthers made them pay. Greg Rallo scored on the man-advantage to make it 2-0 Panthers and that’s how the period ended. Bolts and Cats each had 10 shots on goal in the second period.
The Lightning finally broke through in the 3rd period when Tom Pyatt deflected a Teddy Purcell shot past Markstrom. The goal came at the 14:22 mark to make it 2-1 Florida. The Bolts would tie it a few minutes later on a goal by Alex Killorn to make it 2-2 with over 9-minutes left in regulation. That sent the game into overtime. The game headed to a shootout after a scoreless overtime session. Purcell, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos were stopped cold by Markstrom. Peter Mueller scored in the shootout to give the Panthers a 3-2 win.