Lightning top Panthers 3-2 in OT

The Associated PressSeptember 27, 2013
Lightning top Panthers 3-2 in OT
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Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov, center, celebrates his game-winning goal with Tyler Johnson, left, and Mark Barberio (8) during overtime of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in Estero, Fla. The Lightning won 3-2. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) -- Nikita Kucherov's goal at 4:04 of overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 preseason win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Tim Thomas, signed to a one-year deal by the Panthers on Thursday, started the game and stopped nine of 10 shots. Jacob Markstrom replaced Thomas and stopped 13 of 15.

''I think it was a necessary step to do it now rather than waiting,'' Thomas said. ''I feel ready now.''

Kucherov's goal capped a rally from a 2-0 deficit for Tampa Bay.

Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik also scored for the Lightning.

Panik and Martin St. Louis exchanged great passes on the game-tying goal at 6:30 of the third period.

Florida took a 2-0 lead on two power-play goals by Jonathan Huberdeau.

Ben Bishop earned the victory and made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.