Lightning win Game 2 with last-second heroics

SUNRISE — When Ross Colton was called to take the ice with 49 seconds left in regulation in a tie game Thursday, the Lightning forward was just trying to play it safe and make sure he wasn’t on the wrong side of some last-minute heroics.

But Colton has a knack for big moments. He finds his way to the right places on the ice at the most opportune times. And with the seconds ticking away in Game 2 of the second-round series against the Panthers, he saw Nikita Kucherov weave behind the Florida net to retrieve the puck and instinctively drove to the net.

Kucherov took the puck off the end board and, as two Panthers defensemen converged on him, flung a backhand, no-look pass to Colton as Colton approached the net. Colton beat goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky nearside top shelf with 3.8 seconds left, sending the Lightning to a 2-1 victory at FLA Live Arena and a 2-0 lead in the series.

“I couldn’t believe (Kucherov) got it on my stick,” Colton said. “I think when we went in the corner (to celebrate), I just said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ like 10 times because I honestly couldn’t believe he put it on my stick.

“When you’re on the ice with ‘Kuch,’ you’ve got to be ready for anything. He’s got eyes in the back of his head because I don’t even know how he could tell I was there.”


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