The Lightning went 0-3 in the shootout and the Panthers got a goal from Marcel Goc that sealed the win.
The Lightning showed a lot more grit in this game and a much better compete level which Guy Boucher wanted and addressed before the game started, but still showed a lack of discipline with 31 minutes of penalty time.
The good thing is that the Lightning’s power play only let the Panthers score on two of the eight man advantage chances.
The Lightning had a sluggish start to the game, being dramatically outshot by the Panthers and finding themselves in the box four times in the first period. Ed Jovanovski scored the games first goal on the power play, screening Mathieu Garon.
If it wasn’t for Garon’s standout play between the pipes, this game could have easily gotten ugly for the Lightning. Garon was forced to make some big saves, and that he did, saving 36 of the 38 shots he faced.
The Lightning’s dismal offensive showing continued into the second period, eventually being sparked by fisticuffs between Steve Downie and Erik Gudbranson. Tampa had a flurry of shots against Jose Theodore late in the second period, but none of them saw their way into net.
In the third period, the shots continued to heavily favor the Panthers, but the Lightning started to get a push midway through the period. Bergeron scored on a wrist shot that beat Theodore at 9:43 to even the score.
Nearing the end of regulation, the Lightning’s penalty kill faced another tough test after Pavel Kubina was called for interference at 4:18. Kubina’s penalty was the fourth interference call of the game, which eventually lead to a Kris Versteeg goal, a one timer that gave the Panthers the lead with 2:55 left in the third.
It only took Bergeron a quick 39 seconds to tie the game for the Lightning, which forced the game into overtime, but eventually had to be decided in a shootout.
The Lightning went with its "Big Three," Marty St.Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Vincent Lecavalier who were all unable to put one past Theodore. Stamkos had the most impressive move in the shootout, with a spin-o-rama shot. The lone shootout goal belonged to Marcel Goc, who went five hole to beat Garon.