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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Game 2: Florida Panthers 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (OT)



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SUNRISE — Just when it looked like the Florida Panthers looked like they were going to blow Tampa Bay out on Tuesday, the Lightning fought back.

Florida took a 2-0 lead into the second period, but a pair of quick goals from the Lightning tied things up.

The score stayed tied until Carter Verhaeghe played playoff hero once more.

Verhaeghe got his 18th playoff goal with the Panthers, scoring at 2:59 of overtime to lift the Panthers to a 3-2 win.

The Panthers have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series as it heads to Tampa for Game 3 on Thursday.

Tampa Bay has now lost 11 of its past 12 playoff overtime games.

The Panthers have won 11 straight playoff OT games dating back to the 2021 postseason.

Sam Bennett had a hand in both of Florida’s first-period goals but he was knocked out of the game when he was stuck by a hard shot from teammate Brandon Montour early in the second.

Coach Paul Maurice did not have an update on Bennett, saying he would be evaluated on Wednesday.

Bennett got things going at 6:16 of the first, backhanding a soft rebound from Matthew Tkachuk — on a play Bennett got started — and putting it past Andrei Vasilevskiy.

At 15:12, Vladimir Tarasenko took a feed from Bennett and scored on the power play to make it 2-0.

Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Andrei Vasilevskiy were fantastic as the two goalies made one big save after another to keep it a 2-2 game.

Bobrovsky’s diving save with the back of his forearm to stop Matt Dumba late in the second period will be replayed for years when playoff coverage comes up.


  • Panthers 1, Lightning 0 (6:16, 1st): Sam Bennett puts the Panthers on the board, first feeding a charging Matthew Tkachuk and then following up on his rebound of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s pad. Tampa Bay challenged for goalie interference on TKA to no avail.
  • Panthers 2, Lightning (15:12, 1st PP): Bennett set up in front of the net, picked up a loose puck in the slot and shoveled it to Vladimir Tarasenko who slammed it over a downed Vasilevskiy.
  • Panthers 2, Lightning 1 (0:48, 2nd): Brayden Point was tied up in front of the net with Aaron Ekblad but still gets a piece of a shot from Anthony Duclair and gets it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
  • Lightning 2, Panthers 2 (5:46, 2nd PP): Steven Stamkos don’t miss from the left circle on a power play — especially when left all by his lonesome as he was in this case.
  • Panthers 3, Lightning 2 (2:59 OT): Carter Verhaeghe in the playoffs? Money. His backhanded shot beats Vasilevskiy and gives Florida a 2-0 series lead.


1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

2. Carter Verhaeghe, Florida

3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa 
  • Local TV/National TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/TBS/HBOMax
  • 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: Florida 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT); 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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