SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy won his ninth straight start and Steven Stamkos scored twice to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 8-5 on Monday night.
Vasilevskiy made 18 saves and shares the longest win streak by a goalie in franchise history with John Grahame, who won nine in a row from Nov. 14 to Dec. 10, 2005.
Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal and had an assist. Nikita Kucherov added his NHL-leading 13th goal and an assist, while Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. Vladislav Namestnikov and Anton Stralman also scored.
Aleksander Barkov had a goal and three assists to lead the Panthers. Evgeni Dadanov, Jamie McGinn, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad also scored for Florida.
James Reimer allowed five goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Antti Niemi at 10:22 of the second. Niemi stopped 16 shots.
Tampa Bay took a 4-3 lead on Palat’s shot from the left of the crease at 7:17 of the second period, then stretched it to 5-3 when Gourde tipped in the puck during a power play at 9:38. Namestnikov made it 6-3 with 4:19 left in the second.
McGinn’s goal cut it to 6-4 at 5:32 of the third, but Stamkos’ second goal at 9:02 stretched the Lightning lead to 7-4.
Dadanov made it 7-5 with 8:31 left in the third, and Stralman added an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left.
Huberdeau tied the score 3-all at 5:32 of the second.
The Panthers closed to 2-1 on Ekblad’s goal at 10:31 of the first period.
Stamkos’ first goal gave the Lightning a 3-1 advantage on a power play when he one-timed a shot past Reimer with 5:20 left in the first.
Florida trimmed it to 3-2 on Barkov’s backhand from in front with 53 seconds left in the first.
The Lightning took a 2-0 lead within the first five minutes. Point put them in front 2:48 in when he redirected the puck past Reimer. Kucherov picked off a pass and put the puck over Reimer’s shoulder at 4:55.
NOTES: Panthers LW Connor Brickley missed the game with an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against Detroit. … Dadanov has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past five games. … Lightning C Cedric Paquette missed his sixth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. … Point has six points in three games against the Panthers.
Lightning: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Panthers: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
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