Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

NHL Game Night: 3-16-19 Capitals at Lightning

Alex Killorn temporarily burns down our website with a hat trick that stamps a Lightning statement win.

WSH-3
TB-6

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 34 shots for the victory. There was A LOT of puck luck that factored into at least a couple of Washington's goals, and you can also make the strong argument that Vasilevskiy's play in the Second Period and a few other times the Lightning defense was leaky was ultimately the margin in the contest.

First Period
8:35 TB Johnson (26), (Point, Kucherov)
10:33 TB Killorn (14), (unassisted)
12:06 WSH Carlson (12), (Kuznetsov)
15:56 TB Killorn (15), (Cirelli, Joseph)

Second Period
7:33 WSH Ovechkin (47), (Oshie, Carlson)(PP)

Third Period
2:45 TB Cernak (4), (McDonagh, Palat)
12:56 WSH Ovechkin (48), (Orlov, Connolly)
19:13 TB Killorn (16), (Kucherov)(EN)
19:58 TB Gourde (19), (Erne, Hedman)(EN)

Alex Killorn and Erik Cernak were the game's first and second stars.

This was a nerve-wracking game for Lightning partisans, but I think the overall evidence presented points to the Lightning having significantly improved in this match-up relative to the last time these teams played in the ECF. It wasn't the typical Lightning statement game where they blew a team out, despite what the score indicates, but they did start the game that way by dominating the First Period en route to building an initial 3-1 lead. They did not handle Washington's push back in the Second Period well, particularly from Washington's star players, and it took Vasilevskiy heroics for them to get out of the middle stanza with a lead. Fortunately, they upped their intensity in the Third Period, got a bit of help on a semi-soft goal allowed by Holtby, and that ended up being the GWG. They had ample opportunities to push that advantage to the all-important three goal margin but failed to do so, to my lament, and found themselves in a tight position late in the Third Period after a lucky end boards bounce gave Ovechkin a goal into an open side and a McDonagh penalty gave Washington a chance to tie on the PP. The Lightning ultimately pulled through though, thanks in no small part to a much improved PK (now tops in the league) and faceoffs (Tampa Bay won a staggering 65% of the draws on the night).

It was a mixed bag, but more good than bad in that bag. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos managed an anemic 3 SOG between them, and none until the Third Period, while Victor Hedman at times struggled over the course of the evening (although his stat line at +2 did not reflect it). The Lightning's best players can play A LOT better than they did tonight, in my opinion, and yet the Lightning still had fairly convincing win. Why? Their third and fourth lines trashed their counterparts on the Caps. That was a big weakness in the ECF last season and arguably the Lightning's lack of depth may have been what led them to completely wear down and grind to a halt in Game Six and Seven of that series. In tonight's game, Alex Killorn may have triggered the end of days with a hat trick and I thought the Paquette line also spent the bulk of their time on ice inside the Washington zone on the forecheck. In other words, a bunch of the little things you need to go your way at playoff time (PK, faceoffs, lower line play) all flipped to the Lightning's advantage in this game where they weren't in the ECF last year. Small sample size? You betcha. But, there's also two more games against the Caps in the regular season to try and turn this game into a trend.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-14-19 Lightning at Red Wings

Lightning take Wings' souls en route to season sweep.

TB-5
DET-4

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 27 shots for the loss.

First Period
2:20 DET Bowey (2), (Ehn, Rasmussen)
10:24 DET Helm (7), (unassisted)(SH)

Second Period
3:43 DET Abdelkader (6),(Glendening)
12:57 TB Stamkos (35), (Miller, Kucherov)(PP)

Third Period
1:46 TB Point (38), (Stamkos, Kucherov)
8:24 Kucherov (34), (Hedman, Point)(PP)
8:50 TB Johnson (25), (Cernak, Palat)
16:38 TB Kucherov (35), (Point)
18:18 DET Rasmussen (8), (Vanek, Zadina)

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

Detroit came into this contest having dropped 14 straight contests against the Lightning. Tampa Bay, conversely, came into this game with a dozen games worth of time to kill before the postseason. So, when Detroit got up 3-0 in the Second Period, somewhat against the run of play, it might've been easy for the Lightning to decide it wasn't worth the effort to mount the comeback. No such luck, Detroit. Five straight goals later the Lightning had once again emotionally gutted their division rivals, completed another season sweep, and extended their streak of victories over the Wings to a hearty 15 games. I laughed. I cried. No, actually, I only laughed. A lot.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-11-19 Lightning at Maple Leafs

In which the Lightning teach Mitch Marner to shut his dirty trap...

TB-6
TOR-2

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
10:07 TB Johnson (23), (McDonagh, Kucherov)
18:38 TB Cirelli (14), (Sergachev, Killorn)

Second Period
4:20 TB Johnson (24), (Point, McDonagh)
4:50 TB Palat (8), (Coburn, Rutta)
11:49 TOR Matthews (31), (Johnsson, Zaitsev)
18:16 TB Paquette (11), (Hedman, Gourde)(SH)

Third Period
5:59 TB Paquette (12), (Gourde, Rutta)
19:55 TOR Brown (6), (Marleau, Kadri)

Tyler Johnson, Cedric Paquette, and Ryan McDonagh were the game's three stars.

Mitch Marner decided to run his mouth before this game proclaiming to the Toronto media that the gap between the Lightning and the Maple Leafs wasn't that large. He supplied the bulletin board material. The Lightning supplied the ass-whoopin'. Any questions?

It's not that the Lightning won a game 6-2. It's that every other shift seemed to spend 45 seconds in Toronto's zone and that they outpossessed Toronto to the tune of a 42-28 SOG disparity. Toronto was non-threatening offensively because they never got a sniff of the puck, let alone zone time. They and their media enablers can make excuses about puck luck or it being their first game back off a road trip all they want. If they believe any of it, just know it's indicative of what a bunch of soft-as-Charmin pretenders they are. If you're gonna be disrespectful enough to tug on Superman's cape, don't make excuses when it ends badly for you.

And, if any other potential Lightning playoff matchups want to contract a case of diarrhea of the mouth like Marner did, I encourage it. This Lightning team is downright evil when it's salty and feels like it has a point to make.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-9-19 Red Wings at Lightning

Salty Lightning dispense with Detroit for the 14th straight time.

DET-2
TB-3

Louis Domingue allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the victory.

First Period
3:08 TB McDonagh (8), (Cernak, Cirelli)
11:56 TB Kucherov (32), (Point, Hedman)(PP)

Second Period
19:56 DET Vanek (13), (Kronwall, Zadina)(PP)

Third Period
13:53 TB Kucherov (33), (Sergachev, Johnson)
19:04 DET Mantha (17), (Kronwall, Hronek)

Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Ryan McDonagh were the game's three stars. Kucherov eclipsed Vincent Lecavalier's Lightning single-season points mark with his pair of goals in the contest.

Credit to the Wings and Bernier for keeping this thing closer than I thought, but coming off a frustrating loss into a game against a struggling opponent this felt like another game where the Lightning's opponent had zero chance. The Lightning outshot the Wings by about a 3:2 margin and, but for a couple of late period goals at the end of the Second and Third Periods, seemed to have the whole game on lockdown.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Syndicate content