First round: Lightning-Panthers Game 6 live updates

Tampa Bay wins 4-0 to eliminate Florida and move on to the second round of the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) makes a glove save with Florida Panthers right wing Patric Hornqvist (70) charging the crease and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) defending during the first period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in game six of the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Published May 26, 2021|Updated May 27, 2021

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Pat Maroon, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy did not allow a goal as the Lightning beat the Panthers 4-0 in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series at Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay, which won the best-of-seven series four games to two, eliminated Florida and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

Maroon scored just over six minutes into the game, marking the fifth times in six games the Lightning opened the scoring. Stamkos scored a power-play goal in the second period. Point scored on a beautiful individual move in the third, and Killorn added an empty-net goal in the closing minutes.

Vasilevskiy stopped all 29 shots he faced.

Third-line wing Barclay Goodrow, sidelined for the first five games by an upper-body injury, was back in the lineup and played alongside Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman.

Here’s how it happened:

Third period

Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27), pictured during the second period.
Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27), pictured during the second period. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Vasilevskiy makes a blocker save on Weegar

Vasilevskiy stops wrist shot from Stralman

Killorn shot from in front blocked by Weegar

Brayden Point with a chance in front, but the pass gets away from him

Kucherov nearly has an opportunity at the back door

Huberdeau wrist shot misses high and wide

Coleman upended by Tippett after being sprung on a stretch pass from Goodrow

Forsling shot deflected wide of the net by Cirelli

Vasilevskiy smothers shot by Radko Gudas

Weegar blocks Cirelli shot from the slot up and out of play

Vasilevskiy with a kick save on Barkov

Wennberg wrist shot deflected up out of play

Cirelli shot from the slot saved by Knight

Vasilevskiy with a kick save on Weegar

LIGHTNING GOAL! Brayden Point scores on a beautiful individual move, taking a pass from Nikita Kucherov, splitting two defenders and beating Knight. Lightning 3, Panthers 0.

Knight stops Blake Coleman on a breakaway

Panthers pull Knight in favor of an extra attacker

Bennett wrist shot misses high over Vasilevskiy’s glove

LIGHTNING GOAL! Alex Killorn scores into an empty net, redirecting a pass from Erik Cernak, with 1:42 to play. Lightning 4, Panthers 0.

Vatrano penalized for slashing Cernak’s stick

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(Lightning win 4-0)

Second period

Lightning right wing Barclay Goodrow (19) is down on one knee as he attempts to beat Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (30) during the first period.
Lightning right wing Barclay Goodrow (19) is down on one knee as he attempts to beat Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (30) during the first period. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Victor Hedman stickhandles through the Panthers defense right off the opening faceoff, but his backhander misses high

Stamkos shot from the left circle goes high and out of play

Panthers kill the penalty

Spencer Knight gets back in the net just in time to catch a Mikhail Sergachev shot from the left circle. Yanni Gourde set up the scoring chance with a takeaway behind the Florida net

Ryan McDonagh blocks Gustav Forsling shot

McDonagh penalized for high-sticking Aleksander Barkov

Barkov shot blocked by Coleman

Vasilevskiy stops a Hornqvist backhander from in front, losing his stick, then makes a pad save on a followup chance

Lightning kill the penalty

Carter Verhaeghe shot saved by Vasilevskiiy

Ross Colton tipped Tyler Johnson pass just wide of the net

Anthony Cirelli upended by Radko Gudas behind the Panthers net

Barkov shot wide of the net after Vasilevskiy takes away all shooting angles

Stamkos clears the puck out of the slot after a big rebound following a Hornqvist snap shot from the right side

First skirmish of the game, as Gudas hits Colton, who turns around to face him, drawing Hornqvist’s attention

Sam Bennett penalized for roughing David Savard, pulling off his helmet, and the Lightning get their second power play

Stamkos wins the faceoff but pulls the puck back past Hedman and out of the offensive zone

LIGHTNING GOAL! Steven Stamkos scores on a one-timer from his office in the left circle. Lightning 2, Panthers 0.

Mikhail Sergachev penalized for cross-checking Patric Hornqvist in front of the net

Vasilevskiy makes a blocker save on a Barkov blast from the points

McDonagh clears the puck out of the zone

Vasilevskiy stops a Sam Bennett shot from the right circle

Lightning kill the penalty

Anthony Cirelli crashes into the net after being pulled down by Wennberg while trying to get off a backhand shot off the rush

Vasilevskiy makes a kick save to stop a late chance from Bennett that went off Sergachev’s skate and toward the net

(Lightning lead 2-0 after two periods)

First period

Anthony Cirelli (71) and the Lightning hit the ice for warmups before Game 6.
Anthony Cirelli (71) and the Lightning hit the ice for warmups before Game 6. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Andrei Vasilevskiy saves Patric Hornqvist shot from the top of the left circle

Brandon Montour hit along the boards by Ross Colton

Victor Hedman blocks Carter Verhaeghe shot after a turnover in the Lightning zone

Nikita Kucherov nearly had a breakaway, but the puck rolled away from him

Barclay Goodrow blocks Mackenzie Weegar shot

Anthony Duclair tries a wraparound but can’t get past Hedman

LIGHTNING GOAL! Pat Maroon scores from the crease after a centering pass from Tyler Johnson from behind the net. It is the fifth time in the series Tampa Bay scored the opening goal. Lightning 1, Panthers 0.

Vasilevskiy stops back-to-back wrist shots from Frank Vatrano (right leg pad from low in the right circle) and Anton Stralman after Patric Hornqvist intercepted a Jan Rutta pass in the Lightning zone

Spencer Knight makes a glove save on Barclay Goodrow attempt on the back side

Brayden Point wrist shot saved by Knight

David Savard lays out to break up a 2-on-1 after bad play by Mikhail Sergachev in the neutral zone

Alex Killorn sharp-angle shot misses wide

Ryan McDonagh feed for Alex Killorn broken up by Weegar

Vasilevskiy stops Mason Marchment tip in front after a centering pass from Gustav Forsling, who picked off a Savard pass in the neutral zone

Marchment backhander from in front saved by Vasilevskiy

Brandon Montour penalized for hooking Brayden Point, and the Lightning go on the power play with 1:05 left in the period

Stamkos shot from the left circle blocked and cleared by Weegar

Stamkos shot misses high and goes out of play

Kucherov pass for Point in the slot is blocked, and the puck is cleared

(Lightning lead 1-0 after one period)

Your pregame scouting report

Bolt, the Lightning team dog, lays down while playing on the ice as the pregame light show is tested hours before Game 6.
Bolt, the Lightning team dog, lays down while playing on the ice as the pregame light show is tested hours before Game 6. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Let’s try this again, shall we?

The Lightning appeared on their way to wrapping up their first-round series against the Panthers when they took a 1-0 lead into the second period Monday in Sunrise. The team that had scored first had won the first four games of the series, so Ross Colton’s first-period goal seemed momentous at the time.

But the trend did not hold in Game 5. Florida answered with four straight goals to win 4-1 and stave off elimination.

The Lightning continue to lead the series, 3-2, and get the second of three chances to end it tonight in Game 6 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

The Panthers seem to have steadied their goaltending situation, thanks to the unlikeliest of sources. After allowing Colton’s goal on the first shot he faced in Game 5, 20-year-old Spencer Knight stopped the next 36 to win his postseason debut after playing in just four games during the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Lightning hurt themselves by taking five penalties, compared to Florida’s two. Though the Panthers only scored on one of their power plays, the time Tampa Bay spent in the box robbed it of momentum and kept many of its skilled players off the ice for large stretches of the first period.

Will tonight be the night the Lightning finally rid themselves of the pesky Panthers?

Follow our live updates, starting at 8 p.m., as Florida hopes to move one step closer to winning a postseason series for the first time in 25 seasons, while Tampa Bay aims to eliminate one obstacle in its quest to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

History is on the Lightning’s side. Tampa Bay twice went into Game 5s during last season’s Cup run with a chance to clinch series and lost. In each case, it came back to win Game 6 — against the Islanders in the Eastern Conference final and Dallas in the Cup final.

Setting the scene

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