Panthers vs. Lightning Game 4: Tampa Bay sweeps Florida in shutout with brilliant night by Andrei Vasilevskiy

maroon.jpg
Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are officially one round away from their third straight Stanley Cup Final. With a 2-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers on Monday, the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions completed a 4-0 series sweep to reach the Eastern Conference final. 

This is Tampa Bay's 10th straight playoff series win, and it's the first time a defending champion has swept a Presidents' Trophy winner since 1988. 

It was the Andrei Vasilevskiy show on Monday, as the 27-year-old goalie made a whopping 49 saves. The two-time NHL All-Star has allowed just three goals in the series against Florida and stopped the last 88 shots he faced.  

Florida held a commanding lead in shots all night, but Lightning left wing Pat Maroon scored the game's first goal via tip-in at 6:16 of the third period. Ondrej Palat added an empty-netter to ice the game with less than 30 seconds to go. 

Tampa Bay's lead could've been much larger. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov each had goals disallowed via review in the second period. The puck was deemed to have bounced off the netting above the crowd before Killorn's goal, and Anthony Cirelli made a hand pass to win a face-off before Kucherov's. 

It was a painful loss and series for Florida, which won the Presidents' Trophy and led the NHL in goals this season. The Panthers outshot the Lightning 49-25 on Monday but failed to score a single goal. Florida scored three goals in the entire series, tied for the fifth-fewest in a four-game sweep in Stanley Cup playoffs history. The last team to manage just three goals in a sweep was the Los Angeles Kings against the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018.

Tampa Bay, after some much-deserved rest, will next play the winner of the series between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina currently leads the series 2-1, and the teams are slated to meet again at 7 p.m. ET in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. 

Live updates
(85)
See New Posts
Pinned
@TBLightning via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:59 AM
Pinned
@TBLightning via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:58 AM
Pinned
@FlaPanthers via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:57 AM
Pinned

Florida gets a late power play. Only 2:30 left. 

Pinned

The Panthers pulled off the penalty kill, and they now have less than seven minutes to get on the board. Tampa Bay still leads 1-0. 

Pinned

Florida's MacKenzie Weegar gets two minutes for cross-checking at 11:26. Tampa Bay is on the power play with eight minutes to go. 

Pinned

Florida gets a much-needed penalty kill. It now has just over 11 minutes to tie the game up or face elimination. 

Pinned

Florida's Aleksander Barkov gets called for high-sticking at 6:32 of the third period, seconds after Tampa Bay scored the game's first goal. He'll head to the penalty box for two minutes. Lightning now on their third power play. 

Pinned
@TBLightning via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:27 AM
Pinned

After two disallowed goals, Tampa Bay finally takes a 1-0 lead with a Pat Maroon goal at 6:16 of the third period. 

Pinned
@FlaPanthers via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:26 AM
Pinned
@TBLightning via Twitter
May 24, 2022, 1:03 AM
Pinned

End of second period: Panthers 0, Tampa Bay 0

It's still scoreless in Tampa despite the Panthers owning a 20-shot advantage (34-14). Tampa Bay had two goals disallowed in the period via review. Only 20 minutes for left for the Panthers to extend their season or for Tampa Bay to advance to the Conference Finals. 

See More