LIGHTNING RECAP – GAMES 46 TO 50
By Leo Haggerty
Archived under Featured Articles – Professional and Tampa Bay Lightning
ANAHEIM DUCKS (W 4-3)
SAN JOSE SHARKS (W 3-0)
LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (W 4-2)
After an extremely tight checking opening ten minutes, Tampa Bay dented the scoreboard first. At 10:57, F Brayden Point (19) took a perfect pass from F Nikita Kucherov (38) in the slot and made no mistake. #21 blistered as shot stick side of Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury that found the back of the net. The second assist went to D Erik Cernak (6).
The Golden Knights tied the score at 1-all at 15:42. After a sequence where Vegas controlled the puck in the Lightning zone for what seemed like an eternity, the Bolts finally made a rush out of their zone. The Knights stopped the advance and countered immediately. With a crowd in front of Bolts G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Vegas got the puck back to F William Carrier (6) who was trailing the play. #28 put the biscuit in the basket with #88 totally screened on the shot.
The Lightning regained the lead at 17:57 with a double doink goal. F Ondrej Palat (20) spotted F Anthony Cirelli (25) between the dots and #71 deflected the puck toward the net. F Tyler Johnson (13) then redirected the projectile ever so slightly to put Tampa Bay back on top. The score stayed at 2-1 as both teams left the ice for the first intermission.
The middle period was scoreless but there were plenty of scoring chances with Vegas recording 10 shots on goal to the Bolts five. Also, the Golden Knights killed off one power play while the Lightning had to survive three man advantages as both goalies were superb in keeping the score at 2-1 Tampa Bay going into the final 20 minutes of play.
The Golden Knights knotted the score at 2-apiece at 3:47 of the third period. F Paul Stastny (16), who had to leave the ice after catching a puck with his face in the second period, pass parked right in front of the crease and deflected a shot from the point into the net.
Tampa Bay moved ahead once more at the 10:36 mark. Kucherov (39) found Point (29) in the middle of the ice just above the circles. #21 wheeled and whistled a shot on goal that F Steven Stamkos (24) changed the trajectory just above the crease to put the Bolts up 3-2.
Vegas pulled G Fluery with 2:07 left in regulation and immediately applied pressure. Finally, F Alex Killorn (21) picked up a pass from Palat (21) near the Knights blue line and skated in unmolested to register an empty netter with 45 sticks left to seal the deal.
Vasilevskiy (27-9-3) saved 27 of 29 shots in the victory. Fleury (20-13-0) stopped 15 of 18 shots in defeat.
The Lightning continue the home stand when they entertain Pittsburgh on Thursday. Let’s see if the Bolts can keep the pedal to the metal.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (W 4-2)
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (W 3-1)