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Lightning suffers fourth shutout in last 12 games in loss

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The painful season of the Tampa Bay Lightning continued Monday night, with the Florida Panthers pulling out a last-gasp victory.

There were only 20.2 seconds to play when Aaron Ekblad fired a shot that hit Victor Hedman’s skate and spun over the shoulder of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for the only goal of the game. It was the fourth time this season the Lightning has been shutout. There have been five other games where the Bolts scored only once.

It was the ninth loss — and fourth shutout — in the last 12 games for the Bolts, who fell to 8-9-2.

Tampa Bay had 39 shots in the game, more than double that of the Panthers (who had 19). But goaltender Roberto Luongo recorded his 69th shutout. For the Lightning, Vasilevskiy had 18 saves.

The Lightning are home Thursday against the Rangers.

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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