Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) is congratulated by Yanni Gourde (37) after Colton scored a goal against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Lightning win Opening Epic

On Sunday night, it appeared that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers were set to make it four straight overtime games in the playoffs.

But fortunately for the Lightning, that was not the case.

Center Brayden Point felt a mob of teammates celebrating around him as he scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of game one.

Both Tampa Bay and Florida were even at four goals apiece with just over one minute left in regulation. Then, Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh sent a long pass to Point during a breakaway past the Panthers’ defense. He found himself one-on-one against Panther’s goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. To his dismay, Point won the battle. Launching one past Bobrovsky into the back of the net giving his team a 5-4 victory.

 

Not only did Point provide his team with the win. Just minutes before his victory shot, Point received a fake slap-shot pass from Nikita Kucherov to tie the game 4-4.

The Tampa Bay winger made his return to the Lightning on Sunday night after he missed the whole regular season due to hip surgery. Kucherov added two goals for his team in the second period with the second tying it up 2-2.

He had a total of five shots on goal for the night.

Blake Coleman scored a goal for the Bolts as well. Bolts captain Steven Stamkos picked up two saves, while defenseman Victor Hedman racked up three. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 35 of 39 shots he faced.

Three Stars of the Game:

  1. Brayden Point
  2. Jonathan Huberdeau
  3. Nikita Kucherov

Up Next

The Panthers are out for revenge.

They look to tie the series up Tuesday in Game Two. Meanwhile, the Lightning look to up 2-0.

Game Two will be on Tuesday in Sunrise. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m.

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