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Bellamare leads Lightning over Panthers in Eastern Conference semifinal opener

Corey Perry slaps the gloves of his teammate as he skates along the bench
Reinhold Matay
/
AP
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Corey Perry (10) celebrates a goal against the Florida Panthers with defenseman Zach Bogosian (24) and defenseman Cal Foote (52) during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla.

Tampa Bay topped Florida 4-1 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Andrei Vasilevskiy remained red-hot with 34 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning topped the Florida Panthers 4-1 in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Nikita Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist and Ross Colton also scored for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Lightning took Game 1 against their in-state rivals for the second consecutive season.

Anthony Duclair had the goal for Florida.