Lightning Beat Panthers, 7-2
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TAMPA (AP) — Steven Stamkos had three goals and an assist, Valtteri Filppula added two goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Thursday night.
Martin St. Louis added a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who have won three in a row after a season-opening loss at Boston. Goalie Ben Bishop improved to 3-0 on the season.
Florida, which lost three of four during a season-opening road trip, got goals from Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau.
Stamkos, second in the NHL with 29 goals during the abbreviated 2012-13 season, stopped a five-game goal drought dating back to last season.
The center completed his sixth career hat trick on a one-timer from the top of the left circle during a power play at 12:25 of the third.
Filppula scored consecutive third-period goals to give the Lightning a 6-2 lead.
St. Louis, playing at home for the first time since being selected team captain earlier this month, made it 1-0 off a pass through the slot by Stamkos 8:13 into the game.
St. Louis has 917 points, which moved him past Bobby Orr (915) into 94th place on the NHL all-time list.
St. Louis’ goal marked the first time this season that Tampa Bay took a lead during regulation. The Lightning’s other two victories came in overtime and a shootout after third-period comebacks.
Stamkos put the Lightning up 2-0 when he beat goalie Jacob Markstrom for a short-handed goal at 13:54 of the first. It was Tampa Bay’s first short-handed goal since Ryan Malone scored one on March 26, 2012.
Boyes got the Panthers within 2-1 on a power-play goal 59 seconds into the second. Florida had failed to convert on its previous 17 man-advantage opportunities this season.
Tampa Bay went up 3-1 when Stamkos scored from the right circle with 8:21 left in the second. Ondrej Palat added a late second-period goal.
Huberdeau, last season’s Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year, scored his first goal in nine games early in the third.
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