Stanley Cup playoffs action continues on Sunday with three games on the schedule. The Tampa Bay Lightning opened the day taking care of business with a dominating 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers. The Lighting needs just one more victory to complete the sweep, and move on to the Eastern Conference finals.
Sunday’s action will close as the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers face each other to see who will take a lead in what is currently an even 1-1 series. This game will be on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET and you can stream the action on fuboTV (try for free).
Game 3: Lightning 5, Panthers 1
The Lighting are hungry for a three-peat as Stanley Cup champions and they are certainly playing like it. They took a 3-0 lead in their second round series and just need to win one more home game on Monday for the sweep against the Panthers.
The game was even after the first period as each team found a goal in the first frame. Corey Perry scored first for the Lightning at the 13:21 mark when Ryan McDonagh sent a shot straight down the middle and Perry deflected the puck into the net. That lead lasted less than three minutes with Florida center Sam Reinhart taking advantage on the power play. Before Reinhart’s goal, the Panthers had not scored on the power play in the entire postseason (0-for-25).
Tampa Bay took control early in the second period when defenseman Erik Cernak picked up a pass from Ondrej Palat that was originally intended for Ross Colton but went under his stick. Cernak corralled the puck and sent it to the top right corner of the net. That pass did not play out as intended but still had a good result, to put the Lightning up 2-1 — a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Right wing Nikita Kucherov sent an incredibly smooth pass to Steven Stamos, who went on to bury the puck with a slap shot for the third Tampa Bay goal.
Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled out of the net with under five minutes remaining in the third period and the Lightning added a couple of empty netters to pad the margin late in the game. Tampa Bay will now look to sweep their in-state rivals on short rest — Game 4 is Monday night at Amalie Arena.