Tampa Bay’s Corey Perry, right, celebrates his first-period goal with Steven Stamkos, left, and Ondrej Palat during Game 2 of their second-round playoff series Thursday night against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. The Lightning took a 2-0 series lead with a 2-1 victory. Reinhold Matay/Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. — Ross Colton scored with 3.8 seconds remaining, giving the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night.

The stunning finish put the Lightning up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series that heads to Tampa for Game 3 on Sunday.

The game appeared headed for overtime before Colton scored from right in front of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky off a backhand pass from Nikita Kucherov, who chased down a loose puck behind the Florida net.

Tampa Bay’s power play once again was the catalyst, producing Corey Perry’s first-period goal after delivering three goals in the Lightning’s 4-1 victory in Game 1.

Perry’s goal was the Lightning’s fourth in seven power-play chances to start the series.

Florida’s power play, meanwhile, continued to sputter.


The Panthers scored the third-most power-play goals during the regular season but entered the second game of the series 0 for 21 in man-advantage situations through seven postseason games. They were 0 for 4 Thursday night, with the team’s lone goal coming on a 30-foot shot from Eetu Luostarinen that trickled past Andrei Vasilevskiy with 1:53 remaining in the second period.

Florida got its third power-play opportunity in the final minute of the second period and had a couple of good looks, but still went into the break tied. The Panthers also got another chance in the closing minutes of the third, but came up empty again.

Vasilevskiy stopped 34 shots for Tampa Bay. Bobrovsky finished with 25 saves, including a couple of big ones that kept the Lightning from breaking a 1-all tie earlier in the third period.


JACK ADAMS AWARD: Calgary Flames Coach Darryl Sutter is among the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award, presented annually to the NHL’s coach of the year.

Andrew Brunette of the Florida Panthers and Gerard Gallant of the New York Rangers are the other two finalists.


Sutter started his second stint behind the Flames’ bench on March 4, 2021, as a midseason replacement for the fired Geoff Ward. After the Flames missed the playoffs in 2020-21, Sutter oversaw the biggest season-over-season improvement by any team in the NHL. The Flames captured the Pacific Division title and had the NHL’s sixth-best record (50-21-11) in 2021-22.

Brunette, who played parts of five seasons with the AHL Portland Pirates, led the Panthers (58-18-6) to the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history as the NHL’s top regular-season team.

Gallant became just the second head coach in franchise history to win 50-plus games in his first season, guiding the Rangers (52-24-6) to their best record since capturing the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014-15.

PREDATORS: Nashville extended the contracts of Coach John Hynes and his assistants through the 2023-24 season, trying to build on a season with several individual successes for a franchise that wound up being swept in the playoffs for the first time.

“I believe John and his coaching staff are the right move to lead us back into Cup contention, and I will do everything in my power to give him the necessary tools to accomplish that goal,” said General Manager David Poile.

Poile hired Hynes in January 2020 to take over as Nashville’s third head coach all time, replacing Peter Laviolette. Hynes has won only three playoff games with the Predators, who have not won a postseason series since the first round in 2018 after winning the Presidents’ Trophy with Laviolette.


Top-seeded Colorado finished off a sweep of Nashville on May 9 as the Predators finished the season winning one of their final nine games.

That’s despite a lineup with captain Roman Josi, a Norris Trophy finalist, posting the highest-scoring season by a defenseman in 29 years, goalie Juuse Saros, a Vezina Trophy finalist after notching 38 of Nashville’s 45 wins, and Matt Duchene, who set the franchise’s single-season, goal- scoring mark with 43, one more than Filip Forsberg.

Hynes said the Predators wanted to be hard to play against with an aggressive, fast style. The Predators led the NHL in fighting majors, total penalties and penalty minutes. Hynes said that’s already an area where they are working to clean up penalties that playing with better discipline can avoid.


FLAMES 9, OILERS 6: Matthew Tkachuk had his first career playoff hat trick and host Calgary won Game 1 of the second-round series.

Blake Coleman scored twice for the Flames. Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane each had a goal and two assists, and Elias Lindholm and Brett Ritchie also scored. Jacob Markstrom stopped 22 shots for the win.

Zach Hyman scored twice for Edmonton, and Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists for his fourth straight multipoint game in the playoffs. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Kailer Yamamoto and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers.

Edmonton starter Mike Smith was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on 10 shots. Mikko Koskinen made 32 saves in relief.

Game 2 is Friday.

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