Panthers’ Anton Lundell introduces himself in win over Lightning

Panthers’ Anton Lundell introduces himself in win over Lightning

Florida rookie Anton Lundell scored his first career goal and added an assist Tuesday as the Panthers beat the host Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in the first of four regular-season meetings between the fierce in-state rivals.

The 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Lundell, 20, picked up his first career point on Brandon Montour’s second-period goal and netted a goal for the first time for a 3-1 advantage in the third frame.

Lundell, who finished a game-best plus-3, was also instrumental in Florida’s penalty-kill unit, which denied the Lightning on all six of their power plays.

Aleksander Barkov scored a goal and added an assist, Anthony Duclair scored into an empty net, and Sam Reinhart notched two assists for Florida, which started the season 3-0 for the second straight season and second time in organizational history.

Rookie goalie Spencer Knight, who went 1-1 against the Lightning in the playoffs, stopped 30 of 31 shots and improved to 5-0-0 in regular-season games dating back to late last season.

Brayden Point recorded his first goal, Andrei Vasilevskiy surrendered three markers on 31 shots, and defenseman Ryan McDonagh played in his 200th game for the Lightning.

The reigning champions played without high-scoring right wing Nikita Kucherov, who is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury suffered Saturday.

The aggressive play between the teams from the postseason spilled over to three preseason matches earlier this month at three Florida venues, but the physicality was fairly tame in the Panthers’ first road test and Tampa Bay’s second at home.

The Lightning got the game’s first break in the opening period when they went on a five-on-three power play for 94 seconds, but the Panthers yielded just four shots in the two man-advantages by clogging the shooting lanes in front of Knight.

Florida finally broke the ice on the scoring one second after its second power play ended in the second frame.

Reinhart took Lundell’s face-off win and quickly slid a pass over to the right circle to Montour, who wristed in his first goal at 6:12.

On Tampa Bay’s fourth power play, Stamkos slipped behind the Florida defense but was stuffed by Knight with three minutes remaining.

After a brilliant save by Vasilevskiy early in the third, Point potted one with a long blast at 2:36, but Barkov answered by cleaning up some action around the net just 64 seconds later for the game-winning tally.

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