It's the Battle of Florida between the Bolts and the Cats tonight. The teams take the ice to finish up their season series. Each team has collected six points so far, and tonight will prove to be the tiebreaker. It is Martin St. Louis' 900th career game.
Just 1:37 into the game the Lightning opened up the scoring when Nate Thompson pounced on a loose puck in the neutral zone and put it through Scott Clemmensen's five hole, unassisted for his seventh goal of the season.
At the four minute mark, Tomas Fleischmann provided Florida with the equalizer for his 17th goal of the season on a nifty spin pass from Kris Versteeg to beat Mathieu Garon five-hole. Mike Weaver also earned an assist on the play.
Tampa Bay would get the first power play of the evening with three minutes left in the period when Stephen Weiss tripped Pavel Kubina. The Cats were killing it off when Steve Downie made it four-on-four, followed by a nearly full power play by hooking Matt Bradley. The Panthers were also unable to capitalize, and the teams took the locker room with 24 seconds remaining on the Panther's man advantage.
Hits: Lightning, 7-6
Blocked Shots: Lightning, 8-6
Faceoffs: Lightning, 10-7
Shots on Goal: Lightning, 9-7
Score: Panthers 1, Lightning 1