Lightning loses first game of the season to Panthers

by Gary Shelton on October 6, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Stamkos scored his first goal of the year./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 3:30 a.m.

As it turns out, the Tampa Bay Lightning won't go undefeated in 2019-20.

The Bolts dropped their first game of the year Sunday night, falling 4-3 to the Florida Panthers despite a late comeback. Tampa Bay trailed 3-0 and 4-1 at different points.

Mike Hoffman had his second career hat trick to lead Florida.

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Steven Stamkos, Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith scared for the Bolts.

"We took three (penalties) in a row and they capitalized on two of them and won the game," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.  "You take that part of the game out, and we played well. What I really liked was our push back. It was tough giving up that goal early in the third, but I thought we took over the game and we had our chances at the end and we couldn’t do it."

Florida scored three goals in a span of 2:53 of the second period to break open a 0-0 deadlock. Hoffman netted a pair of goals on the power play to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. He scored his third goal 17 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1.

"We needed  to kill at least one more of those off and we couldn’t do it," Cooper said.

A year ago, the Bolts lost game two after winning the opener, then won six out of seven.

Tampa Bay plays at Carolina today at 5 p.m.

 

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