Garrison's OT goal gives Panthers 4-3 victory
Saturday, March 12, 2011; 11:16 PM
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jason Garrison scored with 16 seconds left in overtime to lift the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Vincent Lecavalier and Simon Gagne scored in the third period for Tampa Bay to erase a 3-1 deficit, but Garrison's fourth goal of the season gave the Panthers their fourth win in five games against the Lightning.
Ryan Carter and Niclas Bergfors each scored their first goals for Florida as the Panthers gained a two-goal cushion earlier in the third period.
Carter, acquired in the Cory Stillman trade with Carolina; and Bergfors, dealt from Atlanta in the Radek Dvorak deal late last month, scored 2:56 apart.
The loss sent the Lightning, who are battling with Washington for the top spot in the Southeast Division, to their sixth loss in the last seven games.
Carter took possession deep in the Tampa Bay end, weaved down the center of the ice and found the five-hole against back-up goalie Mike Smith to make it 2-1 before Bergfors tucked one past Smith for the two-goal advantage.
Tampa Bay cut the deficit to 3-2 when Lacavalier scored his 17th goal with Garrison serving a double-minor for high sticking midway through the period.
Scott Clemmensen, getting the start over Tomas Vokoun, faced a barrage late as the Lightning was able to force the overtime session.
David Booth, who entered with three goals and an assist against Tampa Bay this season, gave Florida the early lead with his team-leading 21st tally at 4:33 of the second period.
Booth took a pass from Mike Weaver just inside the blue line and beat Smith to the glove side. Booth has scored in four of his last five games.
The Lightning's Steven Stamkos provided the equalizer less than 10 minutes later after Florida had escaped a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 33 seconds.
Just seconds after Booth had left the penalty box for high sticking, Stamkos blasted a one-timer past Florida back-up Scott Clammensen from the top of the left circle for the power-play goal at the 14:10 mark.
Stamkos, who has scored 23 goals on the road this season (20 at home), extended his points streak to four games. He is 2-3-5 over that stretch.
The Panthers, meanwhile, were unable to convert on four power-play opportunities over the first two periods.
NOTES: Tampa Bay RW Martin St. Louis took the ice for his 459th straight game on Saturday. It is the fourth longest active consecutive games played streak in the league... Garrison played in his 100th NHL game ... Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun did not play. He is 2-0-1 mark against the Lightning this season ... Tampa Bay G Dwayne Roloson was also benched. He is 3-3-1 in his last seven games.