The Panthers face a tough challenge after losing three straight games in Game 3.


Tampa — The Florida Panthers were king of comebacks throughout the season. Now they must try their biggest escape.

The Panthers lost 5-1 to Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of Round 2 of the Eastern Conference at Amalie Arena on Sunday, 3-0 in a best-of-seven series. If there is no way to win Game 4 on Monday (7pm ET, TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS), the season ends.

Florida forward “We know we can do it.” Jonathan Huberdo said. “We have a team like that. We have a lot of momentum. We’ve shown it all year, so why don’t we try it right now?”

The Panthers led the NHL to 29 comeback wins during the regular season, winning three more from behind in the first round against the Washington Capitals. So there’s probably some reason to believe they can become the fifth team in NHL history to rally 3-0 to win a best-of-seven series.

Florida manager Andrew Brunett said: “When our backs are leaning against a wall and we look gloomy, we want to find energy, enthusiasm and joy because we are a good team.” “Now the frustration is greater than the joy.”

Lightning has a lot to do with that frustration. The two-time Stanley Cup defending champion gave a masterclass on what it takes to win this series. They again took all the important moments of Game 3 and got a key save from the keeper. Andrei WasilewskyHe missed a shot that looked like it was going towards the goal and scored at just the right time.

after Sam Reinhart Finally scoring the Panthers’ playoff first power play goal, ending a 0-25 drought to make the tie 1-1 with 3:53 of the first period left, he had a chance to give them a lead. Less than two minutes later, he drove to the right pole. But Vasilevskiy was there to kick his left pad and keep the game tied.

and then Eric ChernakA goal from 2:54 in the 2nd period gave Lightning a 2-1 lead, giving the Panthers a chance to respond to a power play in the following situations: Victor Hedman Requested to interfere at 6:37. But Vasilevskiy came out great once again, scoring four saves during his man advantage. Tampa Bay also blocked four shots from a penalty kill.

Lightning Defense Man not included ryan mcdonna Seven seconds after Hedman’s penalty kick was over, Uberdo’s shot was missed to the right of the empty net. When the missed opportunity comes closer Stephen Stamcos They won 3-1 at 10:23.

“They do a great job,” said Brunette. “Obviously they are the Stanley Cup champions and perhaps the best team in hockey in the last five years. So they know what they are doing and are willing to do it themselves. They have more will and aspirations than we do. They play post-shift now. If you look at the shift, it probably shows.

“So we have to dig deeper and find a way where we need to want more.”

[RELATED: Complete Panthers vs. Lightning series coverage]

It won’t be easy to beat Lightning in a 4 game game. They have not lost in a streak of playoff games since the start of the 2020 postseason and lost 17-0 after losing.

But that’s the challenge the Panthers face.

“You just want to go out there and play better,” Reinhart said. “There is another chance tomorrow night and we will definitely need our best efforts.”

Florida hasn’t put their best effort into this series yet. The Panthers, who led the NHL with 4.11 goals per game during the regular season, scored one goal per game against Lightning.

Anthony Duclair He scored with 5 minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the first half of Game 1, giving Florida a 1-0 lead. Corey Perry2nd period equalized at 3:38. The Panthers haven’t had a lead since then and are getting increasingly frustrated with each Vasilevskiy save and each shot intercepted (19 in the 3rd game).

“We’re probably playing the best goalkeeper,” Huberdeau said. “He’s making some saves.” “We have a chance. We’re not getting the bounce right now. I appreciate them too. They’re blocking every shot. They’re a good team. I can see why they’ve won two Stanley Cups.”

The Panthers learned a lot from that same lesson last season when they lost to Lightning in their 6-of-2 first round. After winning the Presidents Trophy as the NHL lead with 122 points during the regular season and beating Washington in six games to win their first playoff series since 1996, Florida believed they were better prepared this time.

But through the first three games, all the Panthers did was watch Lightning find a way to win.

“They know how to win and they close the door when they are in the lead,” said Brunette. “We need to direct a little bit more, and I think we should, but keep the pedal to the medals and go faster and faster.”

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