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Bolts continue strong start with win over slumping Panthers
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier was one of four Tampa Bay players with a goal and an assist, as the Lightning downed the Florida Panthers, 5-2, at Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Cory Conacher, Tom Pyatt and Dana Tyrell also recorded two points, while Steven Stamkos added a goal in Tampa Bay's fourth straight win. Anders Lindback made 26 saves in the victory.
"(Lindback) is showing signs of somebody that is making a difference at the right time every game," said Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher.
Peter Mueller and Tomas Fleischmann scored for the Panthers, who have dropped five consecutive games after a season-opening win over Carolina.
"There's some individual efforts that encourage you, but our team play is out of sync right now," said Florida head coach Kevin Dineen.
Jose Theodore allowed all five goals on 33 shots in defeat.
After the Panthers failed to strike first when Scottie Upshall was denied on an early breakaway attempt, Tampa Bay netted the first goal of the game at the 11:09 mark of the first period while on the power play when Stamkos grabbed his own rebound before lifting a shot over the left shoulder of Theodore.
Florida was able to knot the game 15 seconds later as Mueller intercepted a Lindback clearing attempt behind the net and stuffed the puck in before the goaltender could get back in position, but the Lightning went back on top with 7:11 remaining in the opening frame when Conacher slid a shot past Theodore's stick side to finish off a breakaway.
Tampa Bay added to its lead 3:18 into the second period after Tyrell's centering pass from the right corner deflected off Pyatt's hands and skipped through the legs of Theodore.
Conacher later had a goal waived off as he was called for a holding penalty seconds prior to him firing a shot into the top-left corner, but the Panthers could not convert on the power play and the Lightning made it a 4-1 game heading into the third period with Pyatt's one-timer from the slot that just trickled over the goal line with 4:21 remaining in the middle stanza.
Lecavalier's power-play goal and Fleischmann's shorthanded tally in the third period accounted for the final margin.
Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis had an assist in the game and now has nine assists and 12 points over the first six games of the season ... The Lightning have outscored their opponents, 20-8, during their win streak ... Panthers forward Kris Versteeg made his season debut after missing the first five games due to a lower body injury. He did not register a shot in over 15 minutes of ice time.
01/30 00:42:31 ET