One thing that the Florida Panthers and their fans can take pride in this season is that they never quit. It doesn’t always translate to wins, in fact oftentimes it does not. However, the hard work paid off tonight, as Mike Santorelli scored a late game tying power play goal, before winning the game for Florida in the shootout, and the Panthers beat the Lightning 3-2, Saturday night in Tampa Bay.
Santorelli came in on his shootout attempt and faked backhand, before pulling back to his forehand and beating Dan Ellis high over the glove. He was the first shooter, and the only one to score in the session. Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen stopped all three shooters he faced.
This came after Santorelli tied the game with three minutes left in regulation. Bryan McCabe took a shot from the point, and Santorelli poked home a rebound in the resulting net scramble.
The Lightning broke a 1-1 tie just 14 seconds into the third period on a Sean Bergenheim goal. Adam Hall shot from the right wing boards, which Clemmensen initially stopped, but Bergenheim put home the rebound.
Trailing 1-0 in the second period, David Booth got a power play goal for the Panthers. Dennis Wideman broke his stick on a point shot, but the force was enough to deflect off Booth’s shin and passed Ellis.
The first goal of the game went to the Lightning, when Marc-Andre Bergeron blasted home a wicked point shot just 4:45 into the first period. It was Bergeron’s second goal since recently joining the Lightning.
The Panthers are back in action on Monday against the New York Islanders.