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Tampa Bay Lightning beats Florida Panthers 4-3 in shootout

Dwayne Roloson stops 2010-11 Lightning teammate Sean Bergenheim on the Panthers’ final shootout attempt to seal the Lightning’s comeback victory.

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Dwayne Roloson stops 2010-11 Lightning teammate Sean Bergenheim on the Panthers’ final shootout attempt to seal the Lightning’s comeback victory.

SUNRISE — The opening Stephen Weiss had between the left post and the right foot of Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson was small, but it was there.

Somehow, Roloson extended his leg a fraction more to stop the point-blank shot from the Panthers center with 6.3 seconds left in overtime Sunday.

"Great chance; got to put that in," Weiss said.

"I was able to stop and keep my leg there," Roloson said, "I was able to stay with him."

The save was the defining moment of Tampa Bay's 4-3 shootout victory at the BankAtlantic Center in which the Lightning overcame a three-goal, first-period deficit.

Roloson was the reason. He stopped 29 shots, and four more in the shootout, in relief of Mathieu Garon, who was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on 12 shots.

"Phenomenal," center Dominic Moore said. "The overtime save was beyond amazing; an amazing performance by Roli."

And not a bad one by Tampa Bay (7-5-2), which has won six of eight and overcame two significant injuries in the game, not to mention what coach Guy Boucher called another "disgusting" first period on the road.

Defenseman Victor Hedman sat because of an upper-body injury sustained Friday against Chicago. Ryan Malone left with an upper-body injury sustained when he scored to make it 3-1 with 3:40 left in the second period.

Steven Stamkos' 10th goal, which tied him for the league lead with Toronto's Phil Kessel, made it 3-2 with 2:14 left off Matt Gilroy's slick backhand pass from behind the goal line after his spin-o-rama move at the blue line gained him a lane down the left wing.

Teddy Purcell made it 3-3 8:11 into the third period off a scramble, and Moore scored the only goal of the four-round shootout.

"I don't think anybody likes it," Roloson said of coming off the bench. "But you get in that situation, you have to be ready to go."

The Lightning was not ready when the puck dropped and now has been outscored 16-8 in first periods on the road.

Roloson, who is 3-1-0 in five games since his three-game benching with a 1.85 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, helped calm things by making saves and controlling rebounds.

"He's a resilient person," Boucher said. "He felt like he had to bounce back, not for himself but for the team. He needed something very solid."

"Just relax and give your guys a chance to win," Roloson said he reminded himself. "It's a tough thing, but give our guys credit. We stuck with our game plan."

Roloson stuck out his leg.

Tampa Bay Lightning beats Florida Panthers 4-3 in shootout 11/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 8:47am]
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