NHL Game Night: 3-13-14 Panthers at Lightning

Lightning sweep up the trash.

FLA-4
TB-5

Ben Bishop allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the win. He was very off positionally tonight, including a wickedly bad short side softie, but goal support is a beautiful thing.

First Period
1:44 FLA Fleischmann (7), (Kulikov, Bjugstad)(PP)
5:38 TB Salo (3), (Filppula)
5:50 FLA Howden (1), (Hayes, Pirri)
8:18 TB Kostka (3), (Purcell)

Second Period
12:04 TB Callahan (12), (Palat, Filppula)
18:53 TB Johnson (21), (Stamkos)

Third Period
10:47 TB Stamkos (15), (Filppula, Hedman)(PP)
18:55 FLA Upshall (12), (Bjugstad, Boyes)
19:33 FLA Pirri (8), (Petrovic, Campbell)

Valtteri Filppula, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Callahan were the game's three stars.

This win wasn't the elixir. Florida is terrible and you still saw some concerning signs including bad penalty killing, subpar goaltending from Bishop, and late game lapses while the team was trying to close out a win. So, if you're a glass-half-empty person, there's plenty to complain about. On the other hand, Callahan got his first Lightning goal, Stamkos got his first points since coming back from the broken leg, and the Lightning finally got a W, if you're a glass-half-full person. I'd say the game was a building block, and if they work on correcting the problematic things they will be ok moving forward. The effort has been very good the past few games and they finally got the positive feedback tonight.

10 hits for Radko Gudas in his return from injury. Double digits. Clearly, the trainer's table puts him in a foul mood. Everyone else on the team only had 8 hits combined.

Mike Kostka had a goal and was +1 with 4 shots and 1 blocked shot in 15:44. Is he perfect defensively? No. But he's given the Lightning the offensive dynamism in the tradeoff you want from an offensive defenseman. So much so, in fact, that he's temporarily supplanted Barberio on the depth chart.

Nikita Kucherov was -2 in 10:09 as he graduates from prospect status on the website with a whimper. With the other new lines Cooper put together playing pretty well, the one casualty was the 4th line with Brown and Kucherov, which saw the ice very little.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.