Lightning Roar Past Florida Panthers 6-1
Tampa Bay Lightning Score Six Unanswered Goals, Defeat Panthers 6-1
The Tampa Bay Lightning (23-11-3) won their fifth straight game and eighth in their last eleven by defeating the Florida Panthers (14-19-5) by a final score of 6-1. It was the Bolts third victory over the Panthers this season securing the Governors Cup.
The Lightning fell behind 1-0 at the 18:56 mark but the lead lasted all but 19 seconds as Alex Killorn answered with his ninth goal of the year at the 19:15 mark. "That was a big turning point for us was that we scored the next shift." said coach Jon Cooper said after the game.
The Lightning went on to score the next five goals unanswered to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
In the second period Tyler Johnson (9), Valtteri Filppula (13). and Martin St. Louis (16th) each found the back of the net to push the lead to 4-1 and they continued to add to the tally thanks to a pair of goals by J.T. Brown - his third and fourth of the season in the final period. It was Brown's first two goal game in the NHL.
Marty St. Louis earned the top star of the night and had three points in the second period to give him 949 points in his career moving him past Chris Chelios and all alone into 90th place on the NHL all-time points leader rankings. He stands just three points away from Patrik Elias' 952 points.
After the game coach Cooper praised St. Louis for really putting the team on his shoulders saying, "I don't know if we've had a better player on our team in the last eight games then number 26. He's been the captain and he's led the way and he's been outstanding for us."
Valtteri Filppula was awarded the second star of the night after scoring a goal and adding an assist.
Ben Bishop won his 20th game of the season by stopping 28 of 29 shots on goal and earned the third star of the night. "People are going to sit here and say oh they won 6-1 but you look at a couple of those saves he made late in the second period - it was sick." Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, "We go to the break 4-1 and now its tough. We go in 4-3 its a whole different game."
The Lightning will be off until this coming Saturday evening when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday evening when they play host to the New York Rangers at 7:00 p.m.