The Florida Panthers completed a three-game, preseason sweep of the Lightning by defeating Tampa Bay 5-2 on Thursday evening in Sunrise.
The Lightning controlled the pace of play for much for the first two periods, but it was the Panthers coming up when it mattered. Florida struck first at the 8:17 mark when Radim Vrbata scored to make it 1-0. From there Jared McCann began what would be a memorable night with his first goal to lift the Panthers lead to 2-0. Alex Killorn scored late in the first period to make it 2-1 going into the first intermission.
Jared McCann scored the only goal of the second period to push the Panthers lead to 3-1, then secured his preseason hat trick on a breakaway in the third period that made it 4-1 Florida. Vladislav Namestnikov would score with under two minutes to go, but Florida answered with a weird empty net goal that came down the ice from the Lightning end to make it 5-2.
James Reimar converted 34-for-36 saves in getting the win for the Panthers, while Peter Budaj converted 28-for-32 saves in net for the Lightning. Tampa Bay wraps up the preseason on Saturday when they head to Nashville to battle the Predators. Faceoff is set for 8:00 and you can hear it all beginning with a 7:30 pregame on News Radio 970 WFLA.