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Opening night: Lightning beats Panthers, 2-1, in shootout in regular-season opener

Tampa Bay, among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season, takes its first step toward that goal with a win in its regular-season opener.
ampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) heads down he tunnel to hit the the ice for warm ups on opening night. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Published Oct. 7, 2018

The Lightning defeated the Panthers with a 2-1 victory via shootout in its season opener Saturday at Amalie Arena.

J.T. Miller and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 42 saves and stopped both shots he faced in the shootout period.

READ MORE: Lightning beats Panthers, 2-1, in shootout in regular-season opener



Six-year-old Emily Mortenson, of Clearwater, center, visits with Holly Hasty, of Tampa, left, and Jason Szabo, of Tampa, in Thunder Alley prior to the start ofthe home opener between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Three-year-old Kenna Mortenson, of Clearwater, displays her allegiance in Thunder Alley prior to the start of Saturday's home opener between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) as he is introduced with his team before the start of Lightning opening night against the Florida Panthers. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning players huddle as they raises their sticks at center ice during team introductions at the start of Lightning opening night against the Florida Panthers. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) as he is introduced with his team before the start of Lightning opening night against the Florida Panthers. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
The 2018-2019 Tampa Bay Lightning are introduced before the start of the home opener between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Emilio Pareja, with The Bone 102.5, left, offers a high five to Drew Sepulveda, 6, of Odessa, moments after Sepulvada defeated an adversary in a game of box hockey in Thunder Alley, (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and center Anthony Cirelli (71) get beat as the Florida Panthers score the first goal of the game on a goal by defenseman Jacob MacDonald (23) during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) gets beat as Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) celebrates the first goal of the game scored by Jacob MacDonald (23) during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) checks Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) into the glass during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) battles for postitioning against the Florida Panthers during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) gets dumped by Florida Panthers center Denis Malgin (62) during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) defends the crease against Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) with Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) in net during the first period. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Cory Conacher (89) challenges Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo (1) and Florida Panthers defenseman Jacob MacDonald (23) at the net during the first period. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi (5) works with Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) to defend with net with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) defending against Florida Panthers center Colton Sceviour (7) during the first period. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) gets checked into the boards by Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) during first period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) beats Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer (34) to score a short handed goal to tie the score at 1 to 1 during third period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) gets into it with Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson (19) shortly after scoring a short handed goal to tie the score at 1 to 1 during third period. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a shoot out save on Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) as the Lightning won the game in the shootout . (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a shoot out save on Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) as the Lightning won the game in the shootout. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) shoots and scores beating Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer (34) as the Lightning won the game in the shootout. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is congratulated as the Lightning won the game in the shootout. (Dirk Shadd, Times)


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