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Verhaeghe scores in OT for Panthers to beat Lightning 3-2
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Carter notched the winning goal in extra time for Florida.

Carter Verhaeghe lifted a backhander just under the crossbar almost 3 minutes into overtime, and the Florida Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, FL, for a 2-0 lead in their 1st-round postseason matchup.

It was the 5th overtime winner in Carter’s career, coming on a play where Matthew Tkachuk got the puck to Anton Lundell, who assisted the goalscorer. Verhaeghe waited for the Bolts goaltender to commit, then put the puck over him for the victory.

Sam Bennett, who left with a problem in the 2nd period when he suffered friendly fire from  Brandon Montour’s slap shot, and Vladimir Tarasenko notched the other goals for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves.

Braden Point and Steven Stamkos notched for the Lightning, which got 2 assists from Victor Hedman. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves.

Panthers goaltender had 2 wild saves in the 2nd period – 1 of his mask and the other a no-look dive.

Game 3 is on Thursday, as Lightning will host the next 2 matches from the series.