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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:
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
(Lightning win 4-0)
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)
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
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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