Ritola and Purcell score 9 seconds apart to lift Lightning over Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. – Mattias Ritola and Teddy Purcell scored nine seconds apart in the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-3 in a pre-season game on Saturday night.

Pavel Kubina, Brett Connolly, and Tom Pyatt also scored for Tampa Bay. Mathieu Garon stopped 24 shots.

David Booth, Kris Versteeg, and Tomas Kopecky scored for Florida. Jose Theodore had 25 saves.

The Lightning took a 4-3 lead at 14:40 of the third when Steve Downie passed the puck to Ritola, who poked in a shot from the crease. Seconds later, the Lightning stretched their lead when the puck caromed in off of Purcell.

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Tampa Bay had tied it 3-all on Pyatt’s goal at 9:01 of the third.

The Panthers scored 41 seconds apart in the second. Versteeg swept the puck in from the left circle at 4:59 to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Kopecky then put a shot past Garon.

The Lightning cut it to 3-2 when Connolly scored during a 5-on-3 advantage.