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Lightning score late, beat Panthers 2-1 for 2-0 series lead

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Ross Colton scored with 3.8 seconds remaining, giving the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

The stunning finish put the Lightning up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series that heads to Tampa for Game 3 on Sunday.

The game appeared headed for overtime before Colton scored from right in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky off a backhand pass from Nikita Kucherov, who chased down a loose puck behind the Florida net.

Tampa Bay’s power play once again was the catalyst, producing Corey Perry’s first-period goal. Perry’s goal was the Lightning’s fourth in seven power-play chances to start the series.

Eetu Luostarinen scored for the Panthers on a 30-foot shot that trickled past Andrei Vasilevskiy with 1:53 remaining in the second period.

Vasilevskiy stopped 34 of 35 shots for Tampa Bay. Bobrovsky finished with 25 saves.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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.

  • 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.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning center Ross Colton (79) falls after scoring against Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) during the waning seconds of Game 2 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla. Panthers' Gustav Forsling is at right.

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