Panthers Bounce Lightning With Dominating Third Period

by | May 3, 2024

Panthers Bounce Lightning With Dominating Third Period

by | May 3, 2024

The Tampa Bay Lightning once again challenged the Florida Panthers in their 6-1 Game Five loss. Still, the Panthers orchestrated a dominance in the third period that propelled them into the second round of the NHL Playoffs.

The Lightning trailed 2-1 after the second period as Aleksander Barkov and Evan Rodrigues scored 3:10 apart in the third when Florida took a 4-1 lead at 14:06 on Rodrigues’ goal.

The Panthers added two empty-net goals late to advance to the second-round matchup with the winner of the Boston-Toronto series.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t go our way tonight,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper. “A lot of things didn’t go our way in the series and trust me, I have come to the podium, second, many times and I know how fortunate our teams have been when we did win.”

Tampa Bay was never able to take the upper hand on Florida in the series. Every time the Bolts could pull even in a game, the Panthers would then pull away.

Tampa Bay led the NHL in making 28.5 percent of their power-play goals in the regular season, but the Lightning was only 4-for-20 on the power-play in the series.

The Lightning penalty kill stopped 10 Florida power plays as the Panthers connected on only three.

“You do make your breaks and we in this series had our opportunities,” Cooper explained. “History will say this series was, 4-1. We left with some key moments that we could have capitalized on key situations. We didn’t and they did.”

Cooper pinpointed the Lightning stance in each game of the five games:

Game 1 – “They hit the game-winner with a minute into the third period. That was a timely goal and we can’t get the equalizer. There’s the one-goal game. Our penalty kill killed everything off in the entire series, but that was the big one we needed and it didn’t happen.”

Game 2 – “We have the opportunity now at the start of the second period to have that four-minute power play and we don’t do anything with it. That game goes to over time and unfortunately, we lose it. Two huge opportunities that we leave on the table.”

Game 3 – “We have all of those power plays in the beginning and we don’t do anything with them. Lose by two goals on the empty-netter, whatever.

Game 4 – “The special teams were big time for us. Scored ‘Shorty’, power-play goals. It went our way”

Game 5 – “And tonight everybody is blanked.”

“We still scored four power-play goals in this series,” Cooper commented. “The timing of them helped us get one win and when we couldn’t, they got the timely kills the now power play goal. To me, it was as even series as you could get. Wonderful goaltending from both guys (Vasilevskiy and Bobrovsky), but they found a way and we didn’t, so congratulations to both of those guys.”

Ever wonder what it would be like if your everyday car was a ZAMBONI?!?!?

Wonder no longer…

Check out The Zambonis' latest hit, "Slow Whip"!