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NHL Game Night: 12-22-16 Blues at Lightning

The Bournival Ultimatum: Beat St. Louis.

STL-2
TB-5

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 23 shots for the victory. The good ones respond to giving up a couple in the opening frame by shutting the door the rest of the way. That's exactly what Vasilevskiy did tonight.

First Period
14:11 STL Perron (9), (unassisted)
14:43 STL Megan (1), (Reaves, Edmundson)

Second Period
9:48 TB Boyle (8), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
17:27 TB Bournival (1), (Garrison, Brown)

Third Period
5:25 TB Killorn (11), (Stralman, Hedman)
18:20 TB Drouin (9), (Filppula, Stralman)
19:29 TB Drouin (10), (Hedman, Filppula)(EN)

Alex Killorn, Brian Boyle, and Jonathan Drouin were the game's three stars.

Just when you think the team is ready to collapse under the weight of the bloated, overfed injury bug that has feasted on the roster all year, the Lightning show the pride of an elite franchise and rise from the ashes. The Lightning went tonight without Paquette and Namestnikov, which led to the quick recall of Michael Bournival and playing Nikita Nesterov at forward (by the way, let's not be quick to dismiss the whole "Nesterov to forward" idea). The Lightning came out and played a sloppy First Period falling behind 2-0. Vultures were circling. Anton Stralman was threatening to politely go postal in the intermission interview. And then, the Lightning resolved to tighten up their game, and the final 40 minutes became a Lightning clinic. Bournival, fresh off the airplane, tied the game on a tip late in the Second Period setting the stage for a Third Period that was punctuated by Jonathan Drouin literally breaking a goaltender on a deke. Not figuratively. In basketball, they talk about a guard figuratively breaking a defender's ankles with a cross over. So sudden and nasty was Drouin's deke left to right on the Lightning's fourth goal that he literally broke Jake Allen. I don't think I've ever seen that in a game. Mercy. Merci.

Brayden Point had 2 shots and 1 hit in 18:46 and was 29% on 7 draws. He had a turnover in the First Period that ended up in the back of the Lightning net, which is a rare mistake this year for a player who has shown maturity beyond his years.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:24.

Tanner Richard was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:37. He was also 83% on his 6 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.