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Opening Statement: Panthers win Round 1 against ‘rival’ Tampa Bay



Lightning Tampa Panthers
The Governor’s Cup, which at one time went to the winner of the annual series between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, on display at BB&T Center in 2013. // Photo courtesy @FoxSportsFlorida

The Florida Panthers came into their game Thursday with the Tampa Bay Lightning looking like a team with a little something to prove.

And, let’s be honest, they kind of do.

A single game does not a season make, but the Panthers sure looked like a legit contender especially in the second period when they scored three goals to help fuel a 5-2 victory over their across state ‘rivals.’

We put rivals in quotation marks because, as we know, this series has not been much of a rivalry over the years.

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