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National Hockey League
Tampa Bay 5, Florida 3
When: 4:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 21, 2021
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Referees: Tom Chmielewski, Tim Peel
Linesmen: Kyle Flemington, James Tobias
Attendance: 3800

Tampa Bay's Yanni Gourde scored for the third straight game and assisted on Tyler Johnson's go-ahead goal in the third period, and the Lightning won 5-3 over the visiting Florida Panthers on Sunday.

On its fourth man advantage, Johnson chipped in a pass from Gourde on a quick rush at 10:56 for the game-winning tally.

Brayden Point added an empty-net goal to go along with an earlier helper as Florida played the last two minutes with its net empty for the extra skater.

Alex Killorn and Mathieu Joseph netted goals, and backup goalie Curtis McElhinney allowed three markers on 32 shots.

The Central Division-leading Lightning improved to 13-2-1 in the last 16 games, put four points between them and second-place Florida and bumped the NHL's best home record up to 13-2-0.

The Panthers received goals from Carter Verhaeghe, Gustav Forsling and Patric Hornqvist, and Aleksander Barkov provided two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 19 of 23 shots.

The feisty contest marked the first instance in five years the in-state rivals met as the top pair in a division, and they traded goals 32 seconds apart in the first four minutes to open their fourth meeting.

A member of the Lightning's Stanley Cup-winning club last season, Verhaeghe took a nice dish from Barkov and flipped home a backhander from the slot for his 12th tally, but Gourde soon answered with his 11th on a rebound of Barclay Goodrow's shot.

On the Lightning's third power play, McElhinney kept it 1-1 by denying Alex Wennberg's short-handed attempt on a three-on-one rush at 6:07 of the second period.

Five minutes after the save, the home side took its first lead at 11:23 after a puck deflected off to the side of Bobrovsky's cage and went right to Killorn in the bottom of the right circle.

After a long shift in the Lightning zone, Frank Vatrano worked in a goal with a one-handed putback, but it was disallowed after the Lightning challenged that the play was offside.

Undeterred, the Panthers knotted the contest at 2 when Forsling tallied on the tail-end of their third power play at 18:24 with a left-handed blast from up top.

In the third period, Joseph gave Tampa Bay its second lead at 5:22 after putting in his own rebound for his eighth marker, but Hornqvist evened it again with his 12th when he deflected in Keith Yandle's shot 63 seconds later.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Florida   Tampa Bay
Aleksander Barkov 2 Points Yanni Gourde 2
Gustav Forsling 1 Goals Yanni Gourde 1
Aleksander Barkov 2 Assists Blake Coleman 2
Gustav Forsling 1 Power Play Goals Tyler Johnson 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Sergei Bobrovsky .826 Save Percentage Curtis McElhinney .906
Sergei Bobrovsky 19 Saves Curtis McElhinney 29
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 32 3 2-5 4-5 14 23
Tampa Bay 24 5 1-5 3-5 14 35
Upcoming Games
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Dallas. The Lightning have a W/L % of .727 after a win and .750 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Chicago. The Panthers have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .909 after a loss.