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Panthers Take Stranglehold on Series as Bolts Drop Must Win Game

Tonight was a must win game for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Having dropped the first two games in Sunrise, they find themselves in a rather deep hole. Both of the games in Sunrise were close and ended in 3-2 final scores. Game 2 was an overtime loss as the Bolts fell to a horrific 1-10 in playoff overtime dating back to the 2021 playoff season. Could the Lightning right this ship at home to get back into the series?

The Lightning have yet to enjoy a lead thus far this series. They’d love to change that by scoring first in  tonight’s must win game!

Breaking the Ice at Amalie in Must Win Game

The puck dropped at Amalie and the home crowd was excited and hopeful that their energy would spur the boys in blue on to victory. But it was the Panthers who seemed to come out with an extra jump in their step. They out chanced the Lightning despite the Bolts receiving two early power plays and finally broke through right around the halfway point. Mstthew Tkachuk scored to put his team up 1-0.

As the period wound down, the Lightning got yet another power play. This one looked lackluster as they could not get anything going. But suddenly, with just 17 seconds remaining on the clock, Anthony Cirelli found himself right in front of the net for a sweet tip-in. Unfortunately, the Panthers challenged the goal for offsides and review showed clearly that the Lightning entry had, indeed, been offside. Goal came off the board and the Panthers took a 1-0 to the dressing room after 20 minutes.

Another Quick Strike in the Second

In game two, the Bolts trailed 2-0 going into the second period. They struck quickly to tie that one up within the first six minutes. They would strike even faster tonight. Captain Steven Stamkos tied it up just 44 seconds into the frame with his third goal of the playoffs.

And just before the three-minute mark, they took their first lead of the series. Tyler Motte rifled a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky to put the Lightning up 2-1.

The boys were buzzing after that with some great chances. Somehow, the puck stayed out of the net and halfway through the period, the Panthers tied things up.

Florida struck again to regain the lead with 3:30 remaining in the period. Brandon Montour with his first of the playoffs put the Panthers up 3-2.

Fighting to Stay Alive in Must Win Game

The Panthers stayed strong throughout the final frame to take a stranglehold on this series. They added a fourth goal around the midway mark to double their lead.

Nick Paul pulled his team within a goal with a bullet with five minutes remaining.

But Matthew Tkachuck sealed it with the empty net goal for the final score of 5-3. The Panthers are now on the verge of a series sweep.

Three Stars

1- Brandon Montour- one goal, one assist

2- Steven Lorentz- one goal, one assist

3- Matthew Tkatchuk- two goals

Up Next

Just as the Bolts did to them two years ago, the Panthers will look to complete a series sweep on Saturday at 5pm.



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