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Goalie Tim Thomas makes Panthers' debut in Lightning's 3-2 victory in OT

The Canadian Press
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Florida Panthers\' Tom Gilbert (77), Jonathan Huberdeau (11), Marcel Goc (57) and Brian Campbell, right, celebrate Huberdeau\'s goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, in Estero, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius) Author: The Hockey News

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Goalie Tim Thomas makes Panthers' debut in Lightning's 3-2 victory in OT

The Canadian Press
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ESTERO, Fla. - Nikita Kucherov's goal at 4:04 of overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 preseason win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Tim Thomas, signed to a one-year deal by the Panthers on Thursday, started the game and stopped nine of 10 shots. Jacob Markstrom replaced Thomas and stopped 13 of 15.

"I think it was a necessary step to do it now rather than waiting," Thomas said. "I feel ready now."

Kucherov's goal capped a rally from a 2-0 deficit for Tampa Bay.

Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik also scored for the Lightning.

Panik and Martin St. Louis exchanged great passes on the game-tying goal at 6:30 of the third period.

Florida took a 2-0 lead on two power-play goals by Jonathan Huberdeau.

Ben Bishop earned the victory and made 26 saves for Tampa Bay.

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Goalie Tim Thomas makes Panthers' debut in Lightning's 3-2 victory in OT