3 things that went wrong for Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 vs Florida Panthers

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning
3 things that went wrong for Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 vs Florida Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in a 0-3 hole after dropping tonight’s game three with a 5-3 defeat. With the win, the Florida Panthers now have a commanding lead in the series and will look to sweep the Bolts in game four.

With the Tampa Bay Lightning on the brink of elimination, it’s worth taking a closer look at what went wrong for Tampa in Game 3 as they look to regroup in time for game four on Saturday night.

3 things that went wrong for Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3

#1: The Lightning failed to contain Matthew Tkachuk

Panthers’ forward Matthew Tkachuk scored his second goal of the series at 10:39 of the first period. He would play a key role throughout the game, eventually scoring an empty-netter to seal the deal for Florida. He played over 16 minutes and recorded five shots on goal.

Tkachuk has been a thorn in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s side, scoring three goals and two assists for five points in three games. In total, he has registered 13 shots on goal in the series. As such, the Bolts will need to find a way to contain Tkachuk if they want to force a game five.

#2: The Panthers' fourth line wreaked havoc on the Bolts

It wasn’t just Matthew Tkachuk that sunk the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers’ fourth line came through tremendously, with Kyle Okposo, Nick Cousins, and Steven Lorentz at center wreaking havoc on the Bolts.

In particular, Lorentz had a great game, notching a goal and an assist, while Cousins and Okposo had an assist apiece.

Additionally, Panthers’ defenseman Brandon Montour added a goal and an assist, showcasing the Panthers’ scoring depth. So, even when Tampa was able to keep Florida’s top scorers in check, it was the Panther’s depth that made the difference.

#3: The Lightning power play took the night off

The Bolts’ power play took the night off, going 0 for 4. For Tampa, it was tough to squander four opportunities with the man advantage. In particular, the Lightning wasted three power play opportunities in the first period, with Tkachuk scoring shortly after the Bolts’ second power play chance.

In total, the Lightning has only managed to score two power play goals in the series. That total is a far cry from the 71 power play tallies and league-leading 28.63% registered during the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Panthers have lived up to the 82.4 penalty kill percentage they racked up during the season.

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