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Lightning 7, Panthers 2

The SportsXchange

TAMPA BAY -- Steven Stamkos scored his first three goals of the season as the Lightning won their home opener with a 7-2 victory over the Panthers.

Stamkos, who ranked in the top five of league scoring over the past four seasons, finished off his sixth-career hat trick with a power-play goal past Panthers backup goalie Scott Clemmensen in the third period.

The Lightning (3-1-0) jumped on their state rivals early with the top line of Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell. St. Louis scored the game's first goal and Stamkos added a short-handed goal, the first of his career, midway through the second period to take a 2-0 lead.

Florida (1-3-0) opened the second period with a power-play goal as Brad Boyes controlled defenseman Brian Campbell's shot off the post and jammed the rebound past Lightning goal Ben Bishop.

Stamkos' second goal came after mad scramble in front of the Panthers net. Starting goalie Jacob Markstrom's save on Ryan Malone's point-blank shot took him out of position, giving Stamkos a clear route to score on the rebound to extend the Lightning lead to 3-1.

Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers while Scott Gomez and Kris Versteeg recorded assists.

Valtteri Filppula scored twice in the third period for the Lightning, with a power-play goal and an even-strength goal within three minutes of each other as the lead increased to 6-2. Filppula's second goal chased Markstrom to the bench.

Ondrej Palat added a goal for the Lightning while Teddy Purcell had three assists. Alex Killorn, Sami Salo and Matthew Carle all had two assists as well. Ben Bishop had 19 saves.

NOTES: The Lightning and Panthers announced the winner of their four-game season series will be presented with the 'Governor's Cup'. If the teams split, the series the winner will be determined by goal difference. ... Going into Thursday's game, the Lightning are 10-7-3 in home openers. ... Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos' shorthanded goal in the first period was the Lightning's first shorthanded goal since LW Ryan Malone pulled off the feat against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 26, 2012. ... Tampa Bay RW Martin St. Louis and RW Teddy Purcell both extended their season scoring streaks to three games. ... St. Louis also moved past Bobby Orr on the all-time NHL scoring list with 917 career points. ... Panthers D Erik Gudbranson and Lightning RW B.J. Crombeen fought to a draw in the second period. ... Panthers C Shawn Matthais didn't participate in the morning skate but played Thursday and missed a breakaway scoring chance in the first period.
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