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Lightning take Game 1 against Panthers 4-1

The Bolts scored three goals in the final period
Lightning Panthers Hockey
Posted at 7:26 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 23:22:31-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions took the first game of the series with a 4-1 road win against the Panthers. The Bolts were propelled by a third period surge with three goals.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored the go-ahead goal early in the final period, Andrei Vasilevskiy remained red-hot with 34 saves.

Time and again, Vasilevskiy slammed the door on Florida. Over his last three games — all of them wins, including Game 7 at Toronto on Sunday — he’s stopped 94 of 99 shots.

The Lightning started slow trailing for the majority of the first two periods. Panthers LW Anthony Duclair chipped in a close goal to break the scoreless tie late in the first period.

The second period saw a combined six penalties, three on each team. With a little more than four minutes left in the period, the Lightning finally got on the board with a goal on a nifty move from RW Corey Perry.

The game was tied heading into the final period. That's when the Bolts took control, scoring three goals.

The first of which came off a deflection and was scooped in by Bellemare.

PHOTOS | TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS GAME 1

The Panthers came back to tie the game on a power play with eight minutes remaining. However, Tampa Bay challenged and the goal was overturned. The puck hit the top netting which resulted in a stoppage of play.

Tampa stopped the Panthers on their power play which was capped off on a big Vasilevskiy save.

The Lightning then capitalized on a Florida penalty as Nikita Kucherov lasered a power play goal. The Panthers challenged due to possible goaltender interference. The ruling was upheld and the Bolts took a 3-1 advantage with four minutes left.

Tampa hit the dagger as Ross Colton scored in the closing moments. The Lightning held the 4-1 advantage until the final horn.

The teams meet again in Sunrise for Game 2 Thursday at 7 p.m.