TAMPA, Fla. (AP)Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos scored in the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Saturday.
Point made it 2-1 when he beat Sergei Bobrovsky from the low right circle 3:03 into the third. The center has eight goals over his last eight games, and 14 in 17 games against Bobrovsky.
”That’s just getting good looks,” Point said. ”Obviously, a heck of a goalie, tonight even. (Nikita Kucherov) makes a great pass, and he almost gets over there. I don’t know … Just lately things have been going well against Florida.”
Sergachev made it 3-1 at 7:22 from along the left wing boards. Bobrovsky was down on the ice and his stick was trapped under Tampa Bay’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who was knocked down batting for position with Florida’s Aaron Ekblad.
Panthers coach Paul Maurice challenged the goal for goaltender interference. After a video review, the officials determined Bobrovsky was tripped by Ekblad.
Stamkos got his 496th career goal with 3:15 to play. The Lightning captain has eight goals and 12 assists during a 13-game point streak.
”It’s fun when you’re on a streak like that,” Stamkos said. ”It just seems you’re finding ways whether you’re having a good game or not. Sometimes it’s just a little bounce here, there, if you stick with it.”
Stamkos is four goals away from becoming the 47th NHL player to reach 500. He holds the Tampa Bay point streak record at 18 games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves, and Pat Maroon had the other Tampa Bay goal. The Lightning are 7-2-0 when tied after two periods.
”If you want to make the playoffs or have a chance to, you’ve got to win those games that are close, especially at home,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.
Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots, and Zac Dalpe scored for the Panthers.
”I didn’t think we moved the puck, managed the puck or moved our feet particularly well tonight,” Maurice said.
Dalpe got his second goal in three games this season when he sent the puck through the crease and it deflected off Sergachev, tying it at 1 at 6:02 of the second.
Maroon opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. Anthony Cirelli set up Maroon’s shot at 8:40 with a nice pass from the corner boards.
Cirelli has four assists in four games since returning from shoulder surgery.
Bobrovsky turned aside 18 shots during the first, including three apiece from Stamkos and Kucherov. Ekblad skated down the slot alone with two seconds left but was stymied by Vasilevskiy, who faced nine shots in the first.
Vasilevskiy made a terrific stretch pad save on Sam Reinhart’s in-close power-play shot midway through the second.
Florida center Eric Staal played in his 1,314th NHL game, tying Bobby Holik for 60th place on the NHL list. He had an assist.
His brother, Panthers defenseman Marc Staal, appeared in his 1,047th game, matching Eddie Shack and Nick Foligno for 268th place.
Lightning defenseman Cal Foote ended a 25-game assist drought with two assists. … Both teams went 0 for 4 on the power play.
Panthers: G Spencer Knight (illness) sat out his second consecutive game.
Panthers: Return home Sunday night to play Seattle.
Lightning: Host Seattle on Tuesday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports