Stephens, Mitchell

NHL Game Night: 1-5-20 Lightning at Hurricanes

Lightning achieve full blown road warrior status.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 29 shots for the victory. That's two straight quality starts from the young star.

First Period
2:36 TB Stephens (2), (Verhaeghe, Kucherov)
4:44 TB Stamkos (16), (unassisted)

Second Period
5:19 TB Point (17), (Kucherov, Stamkos)

Third Period
11:48 CAR Svechnikov (18), (Slavin, Pesce)

Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and second stars.

If there was ever a potential "schedule loss" for the Lightning, it might've been this one, not only because of the high number of games in a compressed window but because of the possession-heavy style Carolina plays. It's an incredibly impressive thing to see that not only were the Lightning competitive in this game, but they were able to put it away in 40 minutes and enjoy some garbage time in the Third Period. That's how good teams get it done.

Carter Verheaghe had a helper and was +1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 9:40. Now that the team has hit the halfway point of the season, Verhaeghe is the only prospect close to graduation from prospect status, needing 13 more appearances.

Mitchell Stephens had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots and 2 hits in 9:21. He was also 50% on 12 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-4-20 Lightning at Senators

Lightning comeback puts team at end of fourth ten game segment 2 points ahead of playoff pace.

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Curtis McElhinney allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
0:46 OTT Tierney (6), (Jaros)
2:40 TB Vergaeghe (2), (Hedman, Gourde)
3:45 TB Shattenkirk (7), (unassisted)
11:40 OTT Pageau (19), (Batherson, Ennis)(PP)
19:51 OTT Borowiecki (5), (Anisimov, Chabot)

Third Period
8:37 TB Point (16), (Sergachev, Kucherov)
18:39 TB Johnson (9), (Hedman, Palat)
19:53 TB Killorn (16), (unasssisted)(EN)

Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman were the game’s first and third stars.

The Lightning pull into the 40 game mark of the season sitting on 50 points, so they’re on pace for about a 101 point campaign, which is nicely on playoff pace. It’s been a very successful 10-game segment of the year allowing the Lightning to erase a small 1 point deficit and re-instill confidence this is a solid playoff contender.

Carter Verheaghe had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 8:50.

Mitchell Stephens was +1 with 1 shot in 11:49. He was also 73% on 11 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-2-20 Lightning at Canadiens

Lightning officially back on track.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 1 goal on 39 shots for the victory. A command performance from the man who can be the single biggest difference-maker for this team and its potential second half improvement.

First Period
0:42 TB Cirelli (10), (Cernak)
5:48 MTL Petry (6), (Cousins, Domi)
8:28 TB Kucherov (14), (Point)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Vasilevskiy was the game’s first star.

I’m not in love with the Lightning getting outpossessed significantly by Montreal in half the periods they’ve played against them recently. I am in love with the team finding ways to make that not matter and get wins. And, I’m very in love with clinching a successful 10-game segment of the season, erasing the minor deficit the team had at the end of the last one, and having an opportunity for some insurance points in Ottawa up next.

Next upon the docket: reeling in Toronto in the standings.

Carter Verhaeghe played 8:19.

Mitchell Stephens had a hit and was 22% on 9 draws in 7:24. The road has been unkind to his faceoff numbers thus far.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 12-31-19 Lightning at Sabres

Comeback win puts Tampa Bay on the precipice of crawling out of early season hole.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 28 shots for the win. Goal support is good.

First Period
19:03 BUF Sheary (6), (Lazar)

Second Period
2:12 BUF Johansson (6), (Sheary, Scandella)
7:00 TB Palat (12), (Johnson, Sergachev)(PP)
8:12 BUF Vesey (5), (Johansson, Sheary)
9:56 BUG Eichel (25), (unassisted)(SH)
13:57 TB Killorn (14), (Point, Kucherov)(PP)
16:55 TB Johnson (8), (Palat, McDonagh)

Third Period
6:20 TB Shattenkirk (6), (Johnson, Cirelli)
8:08 TB Killorn (15), (Maroon, Paquette)
19:57 TB Cirelli (9), (Killorn, Stamkos)(EN)

Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and third stars. We're moving closer to a reality where Alex Killorn may break 20 goals. #EndOfDays

You know, the Lightning really took off when they decided to finally stop beating themselves tonight. This was a game where the puck management was sloppy and the defensive zone coverage was sloppy and the effort just lacked polish. And, because of that, they fell into a three goal hole halfway through the game. Credit them for not panicking and just resolving to try to get a goal or two before the intermission, which they got, to give themselves a chance. This was one of those games where it wasn't a Picasso, but sometimes Dogs Playing Poker will have to do.

The standings impact of tonight's win was very big as they now have 46 points through 38 games. Go at least .500 over the next two games and they'll pull into the midway point of the campaign right where they need to be on playoff pace. In fact, with the Panthers wetting the bed against the Fighting John Tortorella's of Columbus tonight, the Lightning technically pulled into playoff position tonight, but the competitive standings at this time of year are really less important than the points pacing.

Carter Verheaghe was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 7:40.

Mitchell Stephens was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 7:42. He was also 29% on 7 draws. A rare bad night in the circles for the rookie.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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