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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Game 1: Florida Panthers 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2

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SUNRISEPaul Maurice said Saturday that if he was not coaching in these Stanley Cup playoffs, the series he would watch as a fan would be the one between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Yeah, we’re with you.

Game 1 of the Battle of Florida III lived up to its pregame hype, with the Panthers pulling out a 3-2 win in a defensive slugfest.

The Panthers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0; Game 2 in Tuesday at 7:30.

Florida, which was knocked out of the playoffs by the Lightning in 2021 and ‘22, came ready on play on Sunday.

The Panthers intense forecheck kept the Lightning bottled up and forced one turnover after another.

Florida was only able to get one past Andrei Vasilevskiy despite its dominance.

Sasha Barkov got things started by forcing a turnover high in the offensive zone and quickly got the puck to Gus Forsling. The Florida defenseman sent a shot from the point toward the net, only Sam Reinhart redirected it and the puck trickled past Vasilevskiy.

Tampa Bay only had a couple of scoring chances in the first, but Brandon Hagel tied it at 16:04 of the first when he followed up a big rebound off a Anthony Cirelli shot.

The two teams played a scoreless second, but 58 seconds into the third. Barkov flashed a sharp shot to the net where Carter Verhaeghe put it through.

With 2:05 remaining, Matthew Tkachuk scored into an empty net to seemingly ice the game — only Steven Stamkos scored on a 6-on-4 power play (the net was empty) with 9.3 seconds left.

Florida won the ensuing faceoff and that was that.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Lightning 0 (6:17, 1st): Sasha Barkov forces another turnover in the offensive zone, gets the puck to Gus Forsling whose shot point is deflected past Andrei Vasilevskiy by Sam Reinhart. That’s his 58th goal this season.
  • Lightning 1, Panthers 1 (16:04, 1st): After being bottled up the entire first, Tampa Bay gets off four shots in 9 seconds with Brandon Hagel cleaning up a big rebound off a Anthony Cirelli shot.
  • Panthers 2, Lightning 1 (0:58, 3rd PP): Carter Verhaeghe got in front of the net and Barkov sent him a laser from the right circle.
  • Panthers 3, Lightning 1 (17:55, 3rd EN): Matthew Tkachuk seemingly ices it from the blue line for the Panthers.
  • Panthers 3, Lightning 2 (19:50, 3rd PP): Steven Stamkos gives the Lightning at least a sliver of hope with the net empty.

FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Sasha Barkov, Florida

2. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (WC1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1)
GAME 2
  • When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • Local TV/National TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN2/ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • First Round (Panthers Lead 1-0) — Game 1: Panthers 3, Lightning 2 (Sunday); Game 2: Tuesday at Florida, 7:30 (BSF, ESPN2); Game 3: Thursday at Tampa Bay, 7 (BSF, TBS); Game 4: Saturday Ap. 27 at Tampa Bay, 5 (BSF, TBS, TruTV); Game 5*:Monday Ap. 29 at Florida, TBA (BSF, TBA); Game 6*: Wednesday May 1 at Tampa Bay, TBA (BSF, TBA); Game 7*:Saturday May 4 at Florida, TBA (BSF, TBA). (*) — If necessary
  • 2023-24 Regular Season Series (Panthers Won 2-1) — At Tampa Bay: Panthers 3, Lightning 2 (Dec. 27)Panthers 9, Lightning 2 (Feb. 17). At Florida: Lightning 5, Panthers 3 (March 16).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 77-51-19, 10 ties
  • All-Time Postgame Series: Lightning Leads 2-0 (2021 first-round, 2022 ECS)

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