The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning met up in Orlando on Tuesday night and played a preseason game in Orlando in which there were actually more penalties called than ads painted onto the choppy Amway Center ice.
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As for the game itself, well, it was entertaining what with all the fights and stuff.
It was a contentious exhibition, but an exhibition at that.
When Jonas Johansson pitches a shutout, that should tell you it was not exactly playoff hockey being played.
Johansson — some may remember the one-time Florida goalie who gave up five goals in one start and 10 in his second (and final) one here in 2022 — did make a number of big saves including one on Matthew Tkachuk in the second in leading the Lightning to a 2-0 win.
It was also the second shutout of the preseason for Johansson who may see extended work with the Lightning as Andrei Vasilevskiy is out with an injury to start the season.
This was the first of three meetings between the Sunshine State rivals to close the exhibition season with Game 2 on Thursday in Tampa.
The preseason concludes Saturday in Sunrise.
At times, the Panthers looked ready for their Wednesday off riding roller coasters and whatnot.
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead 5:24 into the game when Tanner Jeannot deflected in a long shot from Tyler Motte on the Lightning’s first power play of the night as Dmitry Kulikov was in the box for slashing.
Florida had numerous chances in a second period cut short before there was a long delay due to a glass repair with 4:12 remaining.
The two teams ended up going to their respective rooms for intermission before coming out to finish the second then went right into the third.
Due to the bad blood between these two over the past few years, the officials kept their whistles handy — and blew them early and often.
All told there were 34 penalties called for 160 penalty minutes.
They included: 10 misconducts, seven roughings, four each for fighting and slashing as well as two unsportsmanlike conducts and a pair of cross-checks.
Midway through the period, Tampa Bay got a long 5-on-3 chance with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Kevin Stenlund both in the box.
The Lightning cashed in with 9:14 left when Nick Paul deflected a long point shot from Alex Barre-Boulet and put it past Sergei Bobrovsky — who stayed in his net at the end despite the Panthers holding the puck deep in the offensive zone and Florida being down two.
Just two more of these before the games count for real.
GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Jonas Johansson, Tampa Bay
2. Tanner Jeannot, Tampa Bay
3. Nick Paul, Tampa Bay
UP NEXT FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS (3-3)
PRESEASON VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (4-1)
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa
- TV/Radio: None
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
- Previous Exhibition Games: Florida 5, Nashville 0 (Sept. 25); Florida 5, Nashville 2 (Sept. 25); Carolina 4, Florida 1 (Sept. 27); Florida 4, Carolina 2 (Sept. 29); Ottawa 4, Florida 2 (Oct. 1)