ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - Mike Santorelli scored the tying goal late in the third period and the only goal in a shootout to lift the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lighting on Sunday.
Trailing by one with three minutes remaining in regulation, Santorelli pounced on a rebound in front of the Lightning net to force overtime and secured the win with a wrist shot over the glove of Tampa Bay goalie Dan Ellis in the shootout.
"I just went to the net, stood there and the puck popped out," Santorelli said of the tying goal. "It was nice to get the two points out of here. It was huge. We just need to keep it going the rest of the road trip."
The Panthers narrowly survived a tripping penalty to Radek Dvorak in the overtime period as Steve Stamkos, the NHL's top goal scorer, rang a slap shot off the goal post.
Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron opened the scoring when he blasted a slap shot through a maze of people early in the first period.
David Booth tied the game in the second when a shot by team mate Dennis Wideman ricocheted of his shin pads and in.
Sean Bergenheim restored the Lightning lead 14 seconds into the third period when he tapped in a loose puck in front of the Florida net.
Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen made 34 saves and went a perfect three-for-three in the shootout.
"I haven't been very good in the shootout this year. I gave up one last year and have already given up seven (this season)," Clemmensen said. "That's one area I need to be better."
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by Frank Pingue)