SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots, Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat had first-period goals and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Central Division first-round playoff series.
The Stamkos goal came less than 5 minutes into the game, and the Lightning never looked back, as the team held the lead the entire game: a different story than the multiple lead changes we saw in Game 1.
It’s the seventh time that the Lightning have won the first two games a series. They’ve never lost one of those matchups and will look to put Florida on the brink of elimination when the series shifts to Tampa on Thursday night.
Yanni Gourde added an empty-netter for the Lightning. Mason Marchment had the goal for Florida, which dropped consecutive games on home ice for only the second time this season.
According to the Associated Press, the Panthers are now 10-28 in their last 38 playoff games.