5 takeaways: Lomberg scores in OT to lift Panthers to win in Game 3
With the breathtaking victory, Florida reduced Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-1 in the Top Seven series.
“Let’s go,” said Lomberg, who had only scored two goals in his NHL career so far. “I’ve been waiting for this chance. All it takes is one shot, one chance. We’re in Game 4.”
Making some history in the process, Lomberg’s goal was the first overtime winner for a Panthers player in the playoffs since Mike Hough made it all the way home on May 12, 1996.
“Lots of emotions tonight”, attacking the Panthers Jonathan huberdeau mentionned. “[Lomberg’s] still there on the bench to get the guys moving. On the ice, he never takes a shift. … It is well deserved by him. A huge goal for us. We really needed this victory, and he made it possible. “
Jumping early on the Lightning, the Panthers opened the scoring tonight when Sam bennett, who had been forced to miss Game 2 while serving a suspension, tapped a good cross pass from Huberdeau just ahead of Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it a 1-0 game at 4:31 of the first period.
Scoring his first NHL playoff goal, Radko Gudas then managed to double the lead soon after when he recovered a pass from Gustav Forsling and spun a shot from the center of the right circle through some traffic and into the back of the net to make it suddenly 2-0 at 7:05. But in the second period, the reigning Stanley Cup champions fought back.
Shortly after Anthony Cirelli halved Tampa Bay’s deficit to 2-1 at 1:57, Ross Colton picked a corner to make it 2-2 at 5:46. At 8:38, Steven Stamkos then gave the Lightning their first lead of the game by redirecting a centering pass from the lunge into the cage to make the score 3-2 at 8:38.
Briefly stop the bleeding, Alex wennberg then shot the Panthers even when he shot Vasilevskiy, who was blinded by a screen of Owen Tippett, to do 3-3 at 12:34.
Still, less than two minutes later, the Lightning regained the upper hand when Bradyen Point scored on the power play to make it 4-3 at 2:17 pm. Back on another men’s advantage, Alex Killorn then swept a free puck to make it 5-3 at 6:17 pm and complete a tough five-goal period for Tampa Bay.
Downstairs but not out, the Panthers huddled in the locker room during the second intermission.
“It was frustrating,” Huberdeau said. “We were in a good position after the first half, up 2-0, and then we do it in the second half. We just need to be smarter with our decisions and play our game. We had to assess that after the second and don’t panic. , but you don’t want to go down in the third period. The guys responded, heard the bell in the third period and worked hard. “
Provide an essential spark in the third period, Patric hornqvist, who certainly knows what it takes to win the playoffs, then took the Panthers back to one goal when a shot from Huberdeau bounced off his skate and through Vasilevskiy to make it a 5-4-1: 45.
Keeping the fans on the edge of their seats, the clock then ran until 3:07 a.m. before Forsling received a pass from Wennberg, skated in the high lunge and launched a heavy shot past Vasilevskiy for a goal from clutch to get things stuck. at 5-5 and ultimately get the game into overtime, where Lomberg would go on to write a new Panthers legend with his game-winning goal at 5:56.
After the goal, Sunrise’s cheers could likely be heard statewide in Tampa.
“A great shot from Lombo,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said of the goal, which was only the third overtime winner in franchise history. “A lot of times in overtime the guys who are least supposed to score are the biggest. The enthusiasm that followed was as high as I’ve ever seen.”
So as not to be lost in the shuffle, Sergey Bobrovsky, who replaced Driedger in the Florida net to start the third period, was one of Florida’s unsung heroes in the win. Playing the final 25:26, the two-time trophy winner Vezina stopped all nine shots he faced, including three in overtime.
With a chance to split the series, the Panthers will face the Lightning in Game 4 on Saturday.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” said Bobrovsky, who Quenneville says will be between the pipes again in the next game. “We were 5-3 after that second half, but we got the W. It’s a big win for us, but it’s only a game. You like it tonight and you’re getting ready for the next one. “
Here are five takeaways from Thursday’s overtime win at Tampa Bay …
1. BENNETT’S BACK
Welcome back, Bennett!
Back in the lineup after missing Game 2 while serving a suspension for charging Lightning forward Blake Coleman, the mustached forward broke the ice tonight when he completed an excellent Huberdeau crossover match. to put the Panthers atop 1-0 at 4:31 of the first period.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Bennett records Huberdeau’s cross-ice configuration
Still bringing his A-game under the bright lights of the playoffs, Bennett has now amassed three points (one goal, two assists) in two games in this series. Also at the start of his brilliant career, the 24-year-old has already registered 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 32 playoff games.
Going back to the regular season, Bennett has recorded at least one point in 11 of 12 games since his acquisition by the Panthers from the Flames on last month’s trade deadline. During that span, he scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) while distributing numerous hits.
2. GUDAS IS DONE
Although he is primarily known as a butcher, Gudas apparently also in the moonlight as a sniper.
Skating in his 23rd playoff game, the grizzled defenseman found the back of the net for the first time in the playoffs tonight when he beat Vasilevskiy with a quick flick in traffic from the center of the right circle to extend the Florida lead to 2.0 at 7:05 am of the first period.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Gudas scores his first playoff goal
Of course, goals are often just a bonus for Gudas. Easily one of hockey’s most physical and physical defensemen, the 30-year-old led the NHL with 250 hits during the regular season, and through just the first three games of this series with the Lightning. , he has already played. 24.
Also an assist tonight, it was Gudas’ lob pass that sent Frank Vatrano and Lomberg on the ice in overtime for the breakaway that would eventually lead to the epic winning goal.
3. WENNBERG HAS POWER
The Wennaissance continued in the playoffs.
After scoring a career-high 17 goals in the regular season, the 26-year-old forward scored his first goal of the playoffs when he landed a shot past a Vasilevskiy filtered from the top of the right circle on the power play . to make 3-3 at 12:34 of the second period.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Wennberg finds twine with PPG near the side
Adding an assist to Forsling’s tying goal in the third period, Wennberg ended the game with two points. Fresh off a strong playoff performance with the Blue Jackets in 2020, he’s now produced seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last 13 playoff games.
When Wennberg was on the ice tonight 5-5, Florida led 17-11 in attempted shots.
4. RETURN OF THE THIRD PERIOD
Asked about the team’s recovery in the third period, Huberdeau said it was several team leaders who spoke during the second intermission that inspired the return.
It is also one of these leaders who started the ball rolling.
Digging into the hollow of the man’s advantage, Hornqvist, one of the team’s four alternate captains, won his first playoff goal when a shot from Huberdeau bounced off his skate and passed Vasilevsky to reduce Florida’s deficit to 5. -4 at 2:45 p.m. of the third period.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion, it was Hornqvist’s 26th career goal in the playoffs.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Hornqvist deflects in PPG from the front
From a player with nearly 100 playoff games under his belt to one dressing in his third only, Forsling then capped off the incredible comeback by collecting a Wennberg pass in point, skating in the high lunge and ripping a shot in front of Vasilevsky to make 5-5 at 4:53 pm.
In the regular season, the Lighting was 28-0-0 in the lead after two periods.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Forsling makes five holes to equalize the goal
“We had incredible stretches in this game and in this series as well without showing anything,” said Quenneville. “We lost two goals and got a lot of press. I thought the guys still had a lot of enthusiasm. I couldn’t have been prouder of the way we competed.
5. LAUNCH LOMBORGHINI
Following this crazy third period, the table was set for some heroics in overtime.
After Gudas received the puck deep in the defensive zone after a face-off victory by Noel Acciari, he then threw the puck into the neutral zone. Getting just one bite, Vatrano then patted the rubber up to Lomberg, who skated on his own before beating Vasilevskiy to lock in the 6-5 victory.
“I don’t really remember too much, honestly,” Lomberg said, clearly in cloud nine, of the goal.
Video: FLA @ TBL, Gm3: Lomberg scores a breakaway goal match 3 OT
Leading the way for Lomberg’s magical moment, the Panthers probably would never have been able to win without their penalty. Starting overtime against a man after a penalty at the end of the third period, the team managed to kill the power play from Tampa Bay, which had already scored two goals. Feeding off that momentum, it felt like the Cats were destined to win after that.
Given the new life of their series, Lomberg’s goal seems like a turning point for the Panthers after they failed in their first two meetings with the Lightning at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
“Our mindset was that we were going to kill this penalty and then win this game,” said Huberdeau. “The PK came out really well. We didn’t give up anything on their power play, which was good. After that, we just took over, got a break on the blue line, and it was a good goal from Lomby. “
Never afraid to scratch his paint job, Lomberg, better known as “Lomborghini” in the locker room, also led all the Panthers forward with seven hits against the Lightning tonight.