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Bad things happen late in Lightning loss to Panthers

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Things ended badly for the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. The later it got, in fact, the more painful it was.

Start with 53 seconds left and the Lightning clinging to a one-goal lead. But forward Ryan Callahan was penalized for flipping a puck over the glass.

Then there was 38 seconds to play, when Florida’s Aaron Ekblad tied te game.

There was the overtime penalty shot by Steven Stamkos, who was stopped by Panthers’ goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Then there was Brandon Pirri, who scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Panthers a 5-4 victory. Luongo stopped Victor Hedman, Bryan Boyle and Valtteri Filppula. The Lightning is now 8-8-2 on the year.

“We had the game,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. :We played well. We locked it down, got the lead. It’s just the way the season’s been going for us. We’ll take the point and regroup here.”

Goaltender Ben Bishop had allowed only nine goals in his previous six games, but was 1-5 for his efforts. On this night, however, Bishop gave up four goals on only 23 shots, however.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals for the Lightning. Cedric Paquette and Anton Strahlman also scored.

The Lightning play at Florida on Monday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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