Anthony Duclair scored twice, Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and four assists, and the Florida Panthers romped to a 9-3 rout of the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Florida scored three times in each period against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions and snapped Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak.
“We gave up too many chances to a really good team that wanted to beat us,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, “and a team that we’ve handled and beat in the playoffs, and they haven’t forgotten. After tonight, I won’t forget this.”
Frank Vatrano, Eetu Luostarinen, Maxim Mamin, Anton Lundell, Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov also scored to help the Panthers set a season high for goals in their league-leading 16th home win.
Spencer Knight made 39 saves.
Florida’s team record for goals in a game is 10, against visiting Boston on Nov. 26, 1997.
“We have a lot of depth in our lineup when we’re all healthy and it shows,” Huberdeau said.
Steven Stamkos, Zach Bogosian and Brayden Point scored for Tampa Bay, which lost for only the second time in 11 games this month. Maxime Lagace stopped 21 of 27 shots before giving way to Hugo Alnefelt, making his NHL debut, to start the third period.
Stamkos scored his 15th goal at 6:19 of the second to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to 4-2.
Florida then scored twice to build a four-goal cushion after two periods. Mamin poked in the puck for his fourth goal at 17:26 after Lagace stopped Carter Verhaeghe on a breakaway. Lundell added his seventh goal at 19:23.
“We got a little sloppy at different times but I thought there was a little swagger. Some of the plays being made were pretty special, especially on home ice,” Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette said. “It felt good.”
Point, on the power play, Duclair, Ekblad and Barkov (short-handed) all scored in the third period.
“You want to (throw) this game out and turn the page,” Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph said.
The Panthers went ahead 4-1 at 3:02 of the second when Luostarinen put in a rebound of Radko Gudas’ wrist shot from the right point.
Vatrano’s seventh goal, converting his own rebound from a shot off the crossbar, made it 3-0 at 14:21 of the first period.
Huberdeau’s power-play goal at 11:22 gave Florida a 2-0 edge. It was his 11th goal of the season.
Duclair took Brendan Montour’s long pass from the defensive zone and broke in alone on Lagace to open the scoring at 2:10. It was Duclair’s 11th goal and No. 100 in his career.
Bogosian scored his second goal, on a shot near the right end line, to make it 3-1 at 15:31 of the first.
NOTES: Cooper and center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned from COVID-19 protocol. … The teams split the first two meetings this season, both at Tampa Bay. The Panthers won the first one 4-1 on Oct. 19, and the Lightning prevailed 3-2 in overtime Nov. 13. … The Panthers earned their 15th home win by beating the New York Rangers on Wednesday night in their 18th home game. Only three teams have recorded 15 home wins in fewer contests since 1987-88 — Anaheim (17 GP, 2013-14), Washington (17 GP, 2008-09) and San Jose (17 GP, 2008-09), according to the NHL. ... Lightning defenseman Darren Raddysh made his NHL debut.
Lightning: Host the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Panthers: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon.
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