TAMPA, Fla. -- Tomas Fleischmann scored the game-winner with 6:05 left at Tampa Bay Times Forum on Saturday night as the Florida Panthers came back to beat the Lightning 5-3 in the final regular-season game for both non-playoff-qualifiers.
Fleischmann's second goal of the game and 12th of the season came on the break on a cross-ice pass from Jonathan Huberdeau. Marcel Goc added an empty-netter.
The Panthers (15-27-6), possessors of the fewest points in the NHL, now focus on Monday's draft lottery. With the Lightning (18-25-4) long since eliminated from playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos' pursuit of individual, yet tandem, honors became one of the team's few remaining storylines before another offseason of remodeling the roster.
The veteran and the young superstar rolled right along on Saturday, as St. Louis had a goal and an assist and Stamkos a helper.
St. Louis improved his National Hockey League-best points total to 60 in giving the Lightning a 3-2 lead with his 17th goal of the season in the second period. His finish at the doorstep less than six minutes into the second period also upped Stamkos' point total to 57 with his 28th assist, pulling him ahead of Sidney Crosby for second in league scoring at 57. Teddy Purcell (25) also earned an assist on the sequence.
Florida tied the game 3-3 seven minutes into the third period when Eric Selleck pounced on a costly turnover by Vincent Lecavalier and fired a shot on a break that Scott Upshall converted on the rebound. The goal was Upshall's fourth of the season.
St. Louis doled out his league-high 43rd assist just five minutes into the game, controlling a loose puck along the boards and passing back to the blue line, where defenseman Matt Carle ripped in his fifth goal of the season.
Ryan Malone upped the Lightning lead to 2-0 with 6:46 left in the first period when he wristed a rebound into an open net as Jacob Markstrom sprawled on the ice. Markstrom had fallen making a save of a Lecavalier tip in front of the net off a Victor Hedman blast from the high slot. The goal was Malone's sixth. Lecavalier was credited with his 21st assist, Hedman his 16th.
Nick Bjugstad ripped a shot over Anders Lindback's shoulder from near the blue line for his first goal of the season with 3:06 left in the first, pulling the Panthers within 2-1. Tyson Strachan (4) and TJ Brennan (7) had assists.
Fleischmann banged in a slap shot just 54 seconds into the second period to tie the game off assists from Huberdeau (14) and Drew Shore (10).
NOTES: St. Louis and Stamkos entered the game first and second, respectively, in league scoring. Teammates have finished first and second in scoring 26 times in NHL history. St. Louis finished the regular season with 60 points (43 assists) and Stamkos had 57 (29 goals). St. Louis entered averaging 1.24 points per game, joining Hall of Famers Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe as the only players to produce at such a level at 37 or older. St. Louis could become the oldest winner of the Art Ross Trophy. Bill Cook, then 36, led the league in scoring for the New York Rangers in 1932-33. ... The Panthers finished with the fewest points in the league and therefore have the best statistical chance of the top overall draft pick, which will be determined on Monday in the NHL draft lottery. ... Lightning LW Benoit Pouliot failed on a penalty shot 70 seconds into the game.