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Battle of Florida Takes Overtime to Decide

To say that the Bolts have not gotten off to the start they wanted would be an understatement. Going into tonight’s game, the Lightning  found themselves in a very unfamiliar position. The bottom of the conference. Would the 2022-2023 edition of the “Battle of Florida” be the spark they needed to change their recent fate? Or would their October woes continue? This chapter of the battle would take a round of overtime to decide.

The Captain of the Power Play

The first period of this one started with a couple of Panther power plays. The Bolts killed them both off. Then, they got a power play of their own. And the one thing that had gone right for the Lightning consistently so far this season went right again. Steven Stamkos. On the power play. The Bolts drew first blood with a 1-0 lead. It was Stamkos’ seventh goal of the season in just the Lightning’s fifth game. The captain continues to get the job done on the power play.

Just under three minutes later, the newly acquired Matthew Tkachuk scored his third goal of the season for the Panthers to tie the game at 1-1. The Bolts were badly outplayed in the first period, as the shot clock favored the Panthers by a 17-7 margin. Vasilevskiy came up big several times in the period to keep it a tie game going to the first intermission.

Finding their Game in the Second and Third

The Bolts came out with a little more jump in their step for the second period. The teams played fairly evenly with chances going back and forth. Both goalies made some nice saves when called upon. With about four and a half minutes to go in the period, Rudolfs Balcers scored his second of the season. Then, at the nineteen-minute mark of second, Cernak was called for a penalty. The Bolts killed off the first minute and the horn sounded to end the period. Despite a well-played 20 minutes, the Lightning found themselves down 2-1 and would be starting the 3rd period short-handed for another minute.

The Bolts started the third period by successfully killing off the remaining minute of the Panther power play. For the second period in a row, the Bolts and Panthers seemed to match each other’s chances. Midway through the period, Brayden Point got the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the score at 2-2. And that is how it would stay at the end of regulation time.

Making Their Point in Overtime

It was the first overtime of the season for the Lightning. They had secured themselves one valuable road point, and it was clear how much they wanted that second point. Just over 30 seconds into the period, Nikita Kucherov skated in on what looked to be a breakaway. But Tkatchuk slashed him to take him out of the play. A skirmish ensued as Victor Hedman came in to defend his teammate. There was brief speculation of a penalty shot. But the referees called it as two penalties on Tkatchuk and one on Hedman, giving the Lightning a four on three power play.

The power play appeared rather lackluster to start. But in the end, they got it done, and made their point in overtime. Brayden Point scored his second goal of the night and third of the season with 30 seconds remaining in the power play to secure that very important second point, and second win of the season for the Lightning.

Three Stars

  1. Brayden Point- Game tying goal in 3rd, and game winner in OT
  2. Matthew Tkatchuk- One goal, one assist
  3. Steven Stamkos- One goal, one assist

What’s Next

Part two of a back-to-back as the Lightning return to Amalie Arena to face the New York Islanders tomorrow night at 7pm.

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