|Date of game: 10/10/2013
Recap: Tampa Bay vs. Florida
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Steven Stamkos notched his sixth career hat trick as the Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the Florida Panthers, 7-2, on Thursday.
Valtteri Filppula scored twice, Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist, while Ondrej Palat also lit the lamp for the Lightning, who won their home opener after going 2-1-0 on the road to start the season.
"It feels great to help your team win," said Stamkos. "There's no better feeling than producing and helping your team win, especially in front of the fans."
Teddy Purcell added three helpers, while Ben Bishop had 19 saves and an assist in the win for Tampa Bay.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes each scored for the Panthers, who went 1-3-0 on a four-game road trip to start the season.
"We're just going to have to find a reason why we're having these letdowns," said Huberdeau. "It's no excuse being on the road, these things can happen at home just as easily if we don't fix them."
Jacob Markstrom gave up six goals on 24 shots before being pulled in the third period. Scott Clemmensen gave up a goal on four shots in relief.
The Lightning got on the board at 8:13 of the first period. Purcell got the puck behind the net and passed it to the low left side where Stamkos sent it the other way for a one-timer by St. Louis for his second of the year.
Skating shorthanded, Tampa made it a 2-0 game as St. Louis sent a hard pass from the left wing to the slot where Stamkos, with a defender all over him, got a stick on it for his first of the year.
Florida got on the board just 59 seconds into the second period while on the power play as Boyes chipped it in from the left side for his second of the season.
Tampa, though, tallied twice in a four-minute span to go up 4-1. On the first, Matt Carle whipped a pass into the right circle and Stamkos one-timed it in with 11:39 played. Then, Bishop cleared the puck down the left wing with Alex Killorn chipping it by a defender in the zone. Killorn then slid the disc over to the right side where Palat shot it in at 15:51.
Huberdeau scored just 3:48 into the third to make it a two-goal game, but Filppula scored his first three minutes later on a snap shot from the slot during a power play, and made it a 6-2 game at 9:14.
Stamkos capped the hat trick with a power-play goal at 12:25 to account for the final score.Game Notes
Florida has its home opener on Friday against Pittsburgh ... Tampa's next game
is at home against Pittsburgh on Saturday ... The Lightning took three of the
five games against the Panthers last season ... Tampa was 2-for-5 on the power
play while Florida was 1-for-5.