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SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) — If the Florida Panthers are going to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race, games like Sunday night have to be few and extremely far between.
Nikita Kucherov had two goals and an assist to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Panthers 5-2 at the BB&T Center.
Brayden Point, Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Lightning. Louis Domingue made 25 saves, and Anton Stralman had two assists.
Denis Malgin and Frank Vatrano scored for the Panthers. James Reimer allowed three goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Roberto Luongo to start the third period. Luongo made nine stops.
Point made the score 4-2 when his shot from the right circle went over Luongo’s shoulder and into the net at 4:25 of the third for his 32nd goal of the season. Kucherov made the score 5-2 on a power play with 47.2 seconds left.
The Lightning scored twice on a total of three shots in the second period.
Stamkos put the Lightning ahead 2-0 at 12:08 of the second. Stralman passed from the right circle to Stamkos in the slot, and his shot beat Reimer.
Vatrano closed the gap to 2-1 on his goal about a minute later with a shot from the slot that got past Domingue at 13:11. The goal was Vatrano’s eighth in his past 13 games.
The Lightning stretched their lead to 3-1 on the goal on a breakaway by Callahan with 2:09 left in the second.
The Panthers narrowed the margin to 3-2 on Malgin’s goal, a wrist shot from the right circle, with 1:10 left in the second.
Kucherov gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead when his wrist shot from the left circle went between Reimer’s pads at 4:02 of the first. The goal was Kucherov’s first in 11 games.
Notes: Luongo played in his 1,030th game, surpassing Patrick Roy for sole possession of second career among goalies. … Panthers forward Colton Sceviour is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. … F Jamie McGinn has been recalled from AHL Springfield. … Lightning forward Ondrej Palat missed the game with an upper-body injury.
Lightning: Visit the Calgary Flames on Tuesday
Panthers: Host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)