First place slipped away from the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night.
The Lightning, ahead by percentage points coming into the game, lost the most important game of its rivalry with the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
Playing on its second consecutive night, and its first game without defenseman Anton Stralman, the Lightning lost 5-2 to the Panthers. Tampa Bay scored first but gave up four straight goals to lose.
Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos scored for the Bolts, both on the power play.
Roberto Luongo had 33 saves for Florida.
“I could pick apart our team,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, “but they don’t deserve it. They played hard. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The Lightning fall to second in the Atlantic Division, with seven games to play. They face Toronto Monday night.