NHL Game Night: 12-1-18 Lightning at Panthers

The Florida Panthers: always there for a good laugh.

TB-5
FLA-4 (OT)

Louis Domingue allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the OT victory. My man needs a rest. He's admitted in the media he's physically fatigued, and whether he's willing to admit it or not, physical fatigue leads to mental fatigue. His First Period allowing 2 on 3 shots and letting in 3 of the first 7 just isn't defensible. I get he made some key Third Period saves and a big toe save in OT, but with replacement-level goaltending the Lightning probably win that game in regulation in a walk. He's overextended. They're asking the man to carry too much of a burden and he's cracking a bit under the weight of it. Give him a night to recharge his batteries. Please.

First Period
10:23 FLA Vatrano (8), (Dadonov, Matheson)
10:34 FLA Barkov (10), (Huberdeau)
11:18 TB Killorn (5), (Sergachev, Coburn)

Second Period
2:11 FLA Huberdeau (6), (unassisted)
8:04 FLA Dadonov (12), (Yandle, Hoffman)(PP)
13:00 TB Joseph (6), (Kucherov, Girardi)
19:00 TB Kucherov (11), (Hedman, Stamkos)(PP)

Third Period
11:41 TB Paquette (6), (unassisted)

Overtime
3:12 TB Point (19), (Kucherov, Johnson)(PP)

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and third stars.

That was in no way, shape, or form a Picasso by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but there's still something so satisfying about still cutting the Panthers' hearts out even when the team brings its B- game to the rink. There were simply too many turnovers in the neutral zone tonight and just a horrible job of managing the puck in the center third overall. There's just no excuse gifting an opposing club odd man rushes and breakaways, especially when you know your backup goaltender behind you is sucking wind after playing ten straight games. But, against the boys from that empty rink in Sunrise, the Lightning seem to always find a way to turn a fiasco into a reaffirmation of the cosmic order that demands that the Panthers and their fan(s) must suffer. That team plays the Lightning like it's Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final seeming every time the two teams meet, and nearly every time they find a new and exciting way to wet the bed and let the Lightning escape with two points. Tonight, once Kucherov scored on the PP to further narrow the Panthers' once commanding three goal lead to just a single goal before the Second Intermission, you knew this game was going to only end in one way: heartbreak for the Florida Panthers, the handful of people who show up to their games to be surrounded by a bevy of unfilled red seats, and the propagandists Fox Sports Florida employs to pretend they're a real NHL team. And Lord, do I love it.

Mathieu Joseph had a scorcher of a goal to start the comeback and was +2 with 1 shot and 4 hits in 9:08.

Anthony Cirelli was +1 with 4 shots, 4 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:51. He was also a stylish 73% on 11 draws.

Erik Cernak had 2 hits and 6 blocked shots in 21:10. This was the first game in the Cernak's stint up top with Tampa Bay that I thought he had some rough moments. That it happened this deep into his first run with the team, and the fact the coaching staff still entrusted him with over 21 minutes of IT anyway, speaks volumes about the quality of his play overall.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.