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The Tampa Bay Lightning stole Game 1 on the road against the Florida Panthers in their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup on Tuesday night 4-1.
The Lightning’s prowess on the power play was the key difference-maker in the game. Three of Tampa Bay’s goals came off Florida penalties in the game. Corey Perry had Tampa Bay’s first goal in the second period and Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton capped off the win in the third period.
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The only Lightning goal that didn’t come on the power play came early in the third period. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare put one in the back of the net to break the 1-1 tie.
Tampa By finished 3-for-6 on the penalty and killed all three of Florida’s chances.
Florida got on the board first.
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Anthony Duclair got a shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy at the 14:01 mark but the Lightning’s star goaltender would lock it down after that.
Vasilevskiy made 33 saves on the night to secure Tampa Bay’s win to start the series. His counterpart, Sergei Bobrovsky, had 32 saves in the loss.
It’s the second consecutive season the Lightning and Panthers are meeting in the playoffs. Tampa Bay won the series 4-2 last year. The Lightning and Panthers were 2-2 in their four matchups during the regular season.
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Tampa Bay won Game 1 last year 5-4 and would eventually take a 2-0 lead back home.