Tampa Bay Lightning defeat Florida Panthers in sixth consecutive overtime game

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 06: Brayden Point
TAMPA, FL - MARCH 06: Brayden Point /

The Tampa Bay Lightning takes on the division rival Florida Panthers in overtime to stay atop the league standings.

For the sixth game in a row, Tampa Bay Lightning fans were in for some extra hockey. The Bolts won in overtime against the Florida Panthers, 5-4. The Lightning is 5-0-1 in the past six games, three of them only going to overtime, while the other three going to a shootout.

The game starts out with two Lightning goals about halfway into the first period. Yanni Gourde scores to put the Bolts up first, and then assists on J.T. Miller’s goal. Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad scores late in the first to bring the Panthers back within one.

Less than two minutes into the second period, Gourde scores again for his third point of the night. Bjugstad scores again to keep the Panthers in the game. Alex Killorn scores his 13th of the season, from Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Besides these assists on Killorn’s goal, number 91 and 86 seemed pretty silent for the majority of the game. Especially without a single power play in the game, it was hard for the pair to generate much offense.

Bjugstad completes the Hat Trick within a minute of the third period. Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck scores less than six minutes into the third on the powerplay to tie the game up at 4.

Once again, this game would not end in regulation. Play went back and forth between both zones until finally, the Bolts would secure the second point of the night and a win. Brayden Point toe drags after Anton Stralman keeps the puck in the Panthers zone and scores to end the game.

Overall, this game further proved that our defense needs to be top notch in order to succeed. Andrei Vasilevskiy had to take on 49 shots this game, which is not something our team should allow. If we want to still be a contender for the Stanley Cup, we need a strong defensive unit that will not let a team like the Florida Panthers come in and shoot as often as they did in this game.

Next: Gift Guide: 10 Must-Have Steven Stamkos Items

Hopefully, defenseman Ryan McDonagh will be ready for his debut in a Lightning jersey Thursday night against his former team the New York Rangers.