MIAMI (AP) – Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal 3:40 into the third period and the Florida Panthers won their third straight game by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Barkov slammed a loose puck in the crease past Andrei Vasilevskiy for his second of the season. It came 1:04 after the Lightning tied it 1-all on Brayden Point’s goal.
Florida also got goals from defenseman Brandon Montour, Anton Lundell and Anthony Duclair. Sam Reinhart had two assists and rookie goalie Spencer Knight made 30 saves in his first start this season for the Panthers, who are 3-0-0 for the second straight season.
Knight, drafted 13th overall by Florida in 2019, has won all five of his regular-season appearances. He was 1-1 against the Lightning in the first round of last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
Vasilevskiy made 28 saves in his fourth consecutive start for the Lightning, who were coming off back-to-back overtime wins after a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on opening night.
Montour gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 6:12 of the second, beating Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot from near the right faceoff dot for his first of the season. Point tied it 2:36 into the third when his slap shot from the high slot ticked the stick of Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar and zipped past Knight.
Lundell gave Florida a two-goal lead when he beat Vasilevskiy with 6:41 remaining for his first NHL goal in his third game. Duclair scored for the third straight game when he hit the empty net with 2:06 left.
The Lightning played without forward Nikita Kucherov, who sustained a lower-body injury during Tampa Bay’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday he expects Kucherov to return before the end of the season.
Kucherov missed the 2020-21 regular season following hip surgery, but returned to lead the Lightning with 32 points in 23 games to help them repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Panthers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Lightning: Have three days off before hosting Colorado on Saturday night.
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