Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

NHL Game Night: 3-30-19 Capitals at Lightning

Flat Lightning give Capitals swagger heading into the playoffs.

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TB-3

Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 6 goals on 35 shots for the loss. He couldn't save the team in front of him the way he did the last time he faced this opposition.

First Period
7:24 WSH Backstrom (20), (Wilson, Djoos)
10:45 WSH Oshie (24), (Jensen, Hagelin)
16:00 WSH Oshie (25), (Carlson, Kuznetsov)(PP)

Second Period
7:53 WSH Backstrom (21), (Orlov, Stephenson)
17:25 TB Miller (13), (Sergachev, McDonagh)

Third Period
3:36 TB Johnson (28), (unassisted)
14:35 WSH Ovechkin (50), (Oshie, Backstrom)
16:15 WSH Ovechkin (51), (Carlson, Kuznetsov)(PP)
19:32 TB Kucherov (39), (Sergachev, Miller)(PP)

Tyler Johnson was the game's third star.

The Lightning had an opportunity coming into this game to complete a sweep of the regular season series with the Capitals and really plant a seed of doubt in their minds for the postseason. They won the first two meetings in a couple of very different ways, with the last game being a victory Vasilevskiy outright stole from underneath the Caps. Another Lightning win might've made the Capitals really wonder if Tampa Bay has their number this year, but with four days of rest the Lightning came out flat as a pancake and simply unprepared to compete. They got outmuscled and outhustled and now have to know the Caps will have a champion's swagger against them knowing that they could've easily taken 2 of 3 in the series without Vasilevskiy's exploits in DC. All Lightning fans can hope is that the embarrassment of that loss lights a fire under the team moving forward.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-25-19 Bruins at Lightning

And Gronkowski just retired too, chowdaheads!

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 17 shots for the victory. Goal support. Breath it in.

First Period
6:42 TB Stamkos (40), (Callahan, Sergachev)
8:30 BOS Marchand (33), (Pastrnak, Bergeron)(PP)
14:58 TB Stamkos (41), (Hedman, Sergachev)

Second Period
8:42 BOS Coyle (12), (Backes)
13:41 BOS Carlo (2), (Krejci, Debrusk)
14:32 BOS Marchand (34), (Pastrnak, Bergeron)

Third Period
5:36 TB Hedman (12), (Stamkos, Miller)
13:15 TB Kucherov (38), (Stamkos)
19:07 TB Cirelli (18), (Joseph, McDonagh)

Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli were the game's first and third stars.

I thought the Lightning dominated the possession game in this contest and absolutely deserved the victory, but they tried their darndest to give the game away with unforced errors and a little bit of poor puck luck. In the end, though, Boston withered in the Third Period as the OG's, Stamkos and Hedman, again led the way to victory. They can smell it. Now's the start of the winning time.

One game after narrowly edging a very good St. Louis team in faceoffs the Lightning won 54% of their draws against a team that has Patrice Bergeron. Whether the credit goes to Jeff Halpern or black magic, I don't care. It's been an amazing turnaround in an area that can make or break you once the postseason finally rolls around.

This isn't the most dominant version of Steven Stamkos we've seen, pre-broken leg, but it might be the best and most well-rounded version of Steven Stamkos we've ever seen.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-23-19 Lightning at Blues

Two minutes worth of lapses cost Lightning in frustrating road trip finale.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 26 shots for the loss.

First Period
11:30 STL Thomas (8), (Dunn, Bozak)(PP)
12:08 STL Steen (8), (Sanford)
12:45 STL Tarasenko (29), (O'Reilly, Schenn)

Second Period
0:27 TB Killorn (17), (Cirelli)(SH)
7:24 TB Point (40), (McDonagh)
14:24 STL Schenn (15), (Tarasenko, Barbashev)

Third Period
4:46 TB Stamkos (39), (Miller)

Brayden Point was the game's third star.

That was a frustrating loss. St. Louis was clearly up for this game as a measuring stick contest and they came out hard on the Lightning, which the Lightning managed well until they allowed a PP goal allowed to snowball into a 3-0 deficit in a 75 second span toward the middle of the period. Shame on the Lightning for that. From the First Intermission on, though, you saw the complete domination of a very good Blues team that could've easily gotten a result for the Lightning but ultimately didn't. The team outshot St. Louis 42-26, out-attempted them 74-48, and outchanced them 23-14. They even narrowly won the faceoff battle 32-31 which doesn't sound impressive except for the fact the Blues are stocked with some faceoff aces, including Ryan O'Reilly. The Lightning did a lot of things right, but beyond that 75 seconds of mental lapses they can also point to a handful of other frustrations on the evening:

First, Ivan Barbashev clearly slashed McDonagh on the hands to create the turnover that led to the eventual GWG in the Second Period. No question about it, that infraction led to the scoring chance that Schenn eventually potted. Second, Nikita Kucherov hit three posts and missed a wide open net with the extra attacker on late in the Third Period. He could've easily had a hat trick in this game. Third, Steven Stamkos scored an apparent tying goal on the PP in the Third Period only to have it called back on review due to an offside. Annoying.

And so, hand-in-hand with a frustrating defeat is the bizarre narrative that again keeps cropping up out west that the Lightning are somehow vulnerable against the Western Conference style and "struggle" against the Central Division. Mind you, the Lightning will have to get to the SCF before that little pearl of wisdom rears its ugly head again, but it's still a damned disrespectful narrative given what the Lightning's record is this regular season.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-21-19 Lightning at Hurricanes

In spite of the scheduling, Lightning keep winning.

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Louis Domingue allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
3:20 TB Stamkos (38), (Hedman, Point)(PP)
9:51 CAR Neiderreiter (21), (Aho)
11:32 CAR Hamilton (14), (Svechnikov, Staal)
19:34 TB Johnson (27), (McDonagh, Kucherov)

Second Period
6:34 CAR Staal (8), (Teravainen, Pesce)

Third Period
3:35 TB Cirelli (17), (Stamkos, Hedman)
10:09 TB Callahan (7), (Hedman, Miller)
16:36 TB Point (39), (Stamkos, Miller)(PP)
18:55 TB McDonagh (9), (unassisted)

Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and third stars. The OG Lightning leaders keep showing up large as we head toward the playoffs.

After a somewhat physical game where the Lightning had to do a ton of defending less than 24 hours prior in Washington, I confess, this game screamed "schedule loss" to me. It would've been very easy for the Lightning to mail this one in with the President's Trophy wrapped up and Carolina fighting for their wild card lives, but the Lightning again found a way to scratch out another victory. It wasn't a Picasso, and halfway through the Third Period Carolina was outchancing Tampa Bay by about a 3:2 clip, but the Lightning power play again came through and doomed Carolina to the season sweep.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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