Lightning v Panthers
Milton Keynes Lightning
4 - 3
The Nottingham Panthers travelled to Milton Keynes on Saturday night to take on the MK Lightning in Elite League action.
Michael Garnett got the start in goal for the Panthers opposite Patrick Killeen for the Lightning.
The home side took an early, capitalising on a turnover behind the Panthers goal to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
The Panthers had the chance to tie the game when Luke Pither was held en route to goal (6.01) and after drawing the penalty he scored on the resulting powerplay, hammering Jon Rheault’s feed high into Killeen’s goal to make it 1-1 at 7.07.
After both sides killed penalties Kevin Henderson sprang Justin Kovacs, and he made no mistake as he pulled the sweetest of moves to lift the puck over Killeen (14.17) and put the Panthers into the lead.
There was more scoring to come in the first. Ollie Betteridge was called for holding the opponents stick, when it was in fact up his shorts, (19.31) and the Lightning tied the game with eight seconds remaining in the period on a one-timer from the slot.
Alex Bolduc got the second period started with a bang when he delivered a crunching hit along the boards before Killeen made, the first of many, a larcenous glove save to deny Lepine.
The EIHL’s leading scorer Alex Guptill almost turned creator, his cross-ice feed fired just over the top of the goal by Mark Hurtubise.
Good work down low by Robert Farmer & Chris Stewart gave Brett Perlini the time he needed to find a soft spot in the slot, and when the puck found him his quick wrist shot beat Killeen through the five-hole (29.12) to restore the Panthers lead.
Both sides once again killed penalties before Michael Garnett made a huge glove save, after a bad bounce in front gave the Lightning a one-on-one opportunity with the Panthers netminder, to send the game into the second intermission with the Panthers ahead by one.
Tommy Hughes made a great defensive play as he poke-checked the puck away from a Lightning attacker early in the third period, Michael Garnett was then once again called into action as he showed tremendous patience to outwait Golovkos as he tried to round the Panthers netminder.
The home side capitalised on an icing call to tie the game at three apiece (44.49).
Patrick Killeen then took centre stage, first making a larcenous glove save on Rheault before stacking the pads to deny Robert Farmer as he shot short-side.
He was in the thick of the action once again shortly afterwards as dove to the ice to thwart Alex Guptill.
With neither side able to forge ahead the game went to overtime.
Despite the Panthers having to kill a four-on-three powerplay (61.29) the score remained tied and the game went to the shootout.
Alex Guptill scored high on the glove side to put the Panthers ahead in the shootout but Lightning player/coach Tim Wallace tied things up then scored the winner in the sudden death round to send the Panthers back to Nottingham with just one point.