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The Tampa Bay Lightning stunned the Florida Panthers in the final seconds of their Game 2 matchup of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.
The game was tied in final seconds and Tampa Bay was scrambling to get control of the puck in the Panthers’ zone. Nikita Kucherov got control of it behind Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and passed it back to Ross Colton who was wide open in front of the net.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton celebrates scoring against the Florida Panthers in the closing seconds of Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Colton fired the puck past Bobrovsky stick side and scored the game-winner with about 4 seconds left.
The Lightning would hold on for the 2-1 victory and go up 2-0 in the series.
Colton’s goal left NHL fans in shock.
It was Colton’s fifth goal of the playoffs. Kucherov picked up his eighth assist and Ondrej Palat was credited with his third assist of the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) is congratulated after scoring agains the Florida Panthers in the closing seconds of Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Corey Perry scored the first goal of the game after taking a puck to the eye in the pregame warmups. He was skating before the puck dropped without a helmet on and when he fired a puck to the net, it ricocheted off the cross bar and nailed Perry above the eye.
Regardless, Perry would play and start the game off on the right foot.
Florid would tie the game in the second period thanks to Eetu Luostarinen. It was his first goal of the playoffs. But the Panthers’ struggles remain apparent.
Florida had four power-play goal opportunities and failed to score on any of them. The winner of the Presidents’ Trophy is 0-for-22 in the playoffs on power plays.
Tampa Bay was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) takes down Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau as Lightning’ Alex Killorn (17) and Nicholas Paul (20) watch during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 36 saves in the game. Bobrovsky recorded 25 saves.
Game 3 between the two teams will be played at the Amalie Arena on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.