LIGHTNING RECAP – GAMES 11 TO 15
By Leo Haggerty
Archived under Featured Articles – Professional & Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning will now embark on a five-game road trip that will not end until November 14th when the Bolts have their next true home game.  It begins with a Greater New York Trifecta with back-to-back contests with the Rangers and Devils then back across the river to take on the Islanders.  Then, Tampa Bay has another two consecutive contests against the Sabres but these pair of games take place across the pond in Sweden as part of the NHL Global Series.  Let’s see how the Bolts fared on this extended roadie.

NEW YORK RANGERS (L 4-1)

The Bolts started their Big Apple swing on a sour note with a 4-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.  New York improved to 4-5-1 (9 points) on the season while Tampa Bay dropped to 5-4-2 (12 points) on the campaign.

The Lightning scored first at the 15:44 mark of the opening period.  F Nikita Kucherov (4) lit the lamp with assists going to F Brayden Point (4) and F Steven Stamkos (7).  The Bolts would take a 1-0 lead to the dressing room at the end of the first 20 minutes of play.

The Rangers would tie the score at one-all at 9:37 of the middle stanza.  F Kaapo Kakko (2) slid the puck past Bolts G Andrei Vasilevskiy to tally a power-play marker.  That score would hold up as both teams went to the second intermission.

Sadly, the Rangers would find the back of the net three times in the final period.  F Filip Chytil at 12:46 and D Adam Fox at 17:24 both scored their first goal of the 2019-20 regular season.  F Ryan Strome (3) deposited an empty-netter to complete the scoring with 46 seconds left in the contest.

Ranger G Alexandar Georgiev (2-2-1) stopped 29 of 30 shots to record the victory. #88 (5-3-0) made 38 saves for the Bolts in a losing effort.

Next up for Tampa Bay is a short trip across the Hudson River for the south end of back-to-back games.  The Lightning take on New Jersey at the Prudential Center.  Let’s hope the outcome is better than this one.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS (W 7-6 OT)

The Lightning traveled across the Hudson River from New York to New Jersey to take on the Devils in a I-95 back-to-backer.  In a thrilling contest, Tampa Bay came from behind to claim a 7-6 victory in overtime where each team scored at least one goal in every period.  The Bolts improved to 6-4-2 (14 points) while the Devils fell to 2-5-3 (7 points).

The Devils drew first blood just 70 ticks in the game.  With New Jersey on an early power play when Bolts D Kevin Shattenkirk was whistled for delay of game when he sailed the puck over the glass, F Kyle Palmiere (4) managed to get the puck past Lightning G Curtis McElhinney to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.

Tampa Bay matched that marker at 9:28 of the opening period when F Ondrej Palat (4) knotted the score at 1-all.  Assists were credited to Shattenkirk (4) and Point (5).

The Lightning took the lead at 17:15 of the first period.  F Alex Killorn (2) banged home a power play goal that eluded Devils G Cory Schneider.  Shattenkirk (5) again, along with F Tyler Johnson (4), had the assists and the Bolts went to the first intermission nursing a 2-1 lead.

New Jersey knotted the score at 2-apiece when F Jesper Bratt (2) lit the lamp at 6:05 of the middle period.  Tampa Bay moved ahead again when Point (4) put the biscuit in the basket at 11:48 with Johnson (5 ) and D Mikhail Sergachev (8) getting the helpers.

The Devils tied the score and took the lead with two goals in less than two minutes.  Palmiere (5) and Bratt (3) each scored their second goal of the evening to give Jersey a 4-3 lead at the end of two period.

The third period was an offensive outburst beginning at 1:13 with the Devils Sami Vatanen (3) finding the back of the net to increase the lead to 5-3.  The Lightning responded with three consecutive goals.  The first came at 2:45 when F Anthony Cirelli scored his first goal of the season with the assists going to D Jan Rutta (1) and F Mathieu Joseph (2) to cut the Devils lead to 5-4.  The Bolts evened the score at 5-5 when Joseph (3) found the back of the net at 7:45 with the only assist going to Cirelli (5).

Tampa Bay took a 6-5 lead at 16:03 when Palat (5) notched his second marker of the evening.  The only assist went to Point (6) and it looked like the Lightning had the game in hand.

Give New Jersey credit.  With the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the Devils Palmieri (6) completed the hat trick to put the game into overtime with eight seconds left in regulation and give the Devils a chance at a couple of points.

Johnson (4) put an end to that dream 1:16 into overtime.  Palat (3) and D Ryan McDonagh (4) assisted and that gave the Bolts a well-earned two points.

Lightning G McElhinney (1-1-2) stopped 36 of 42 shots to earned the victory.  Devils G Schneider (0-3-2) saved 16 of 23 shots in taking the loss.

Now, the Bolts move back over the Hudson River to take on the Islanders.  Let’s see if Tampa Bay can finish off the Northeast three-game roadie with a win.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (L 5-2)

Tampa Bay was unable to secure a winning Big Apple road trip as the Bolts fell to the New York Islanders 5-2.  The lost dropped the Lightning to 6-5-2 (14 points) while the Isles improved to 9-3-0 (18 points).

After a scoreless first period, the Islanders broke the ice at 4:58 of the middle period.  F Mathew Barzal (6) lit the lamp to give New York a 1-0 lead.

The Bolts answered at 7:49.  F Yanni Gourde (2), with a helper from Shattenkirk (6), tied the score at 1-each.

New York retained the lead at 11:33.  D Ryan Pulock (2) slid the puck past Tampa Bay G Vasilevskiy and that gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead that would stand when both clubs headed off for the second intermission.

The Isles broke the game open in the space of a little less than two minutes in the third period.  F Josh Bailey (5) scored at 12:41 and that was followed by a goal from F Andres Lee (5) at 14:27 pushed the advantage to 4-1.

McDonagh (1) got the Lightning back to a two-goal deficit at 18:03 when he slid the puck past Islanders G Thomas Greiss with assists going to Palat (4) and Stamkos (8).  It was too little and too late as New York added an empty netter by F Derick Brassard (4) to close out the scoring at 5-2.

G Vasilevskiy (5-4-0) stopped 21 of 25 shots in a losing effort.  G Greiss (5-2-0) saved 33 of 35 shots in winning his fourth consecutive game.

Now, the Bolts become truly road warriors.  The Lightning take a seven-day hiatus as they travel across the pond to take on Buffalo back-to-back in the NHL Global Series.  Both games will be played in Stockholm with the Sabres the designated home team in the opener on November 8th.

See you around the TV to see how Tampa Bay fares in their inaugural two-game European excursion.  Should be exciting to say the least.

 BUFFALO SABRES (W 3-2)

In the first game of the NHL Global Series in Sweden, the Lightning were designated as the visiting team.  That had now effect on Tampa Bay as they cruised past Buffalo by a count of 3-2.  That moved the Bolts to 7-5-2 (16 points) while it dropped the Sabres to 9-5-2 (20 points).

Tampa Bay jumped to a quick 1-0 early in the first period.  Kucherov (5) lit the lamp at 3:19 with the assists going to Point (7) and Shattenkirk (7).

The Bolts stretched the lead to 2-0 at 16:14 of the opening stanza.  With the Lightning on the power play, F Alex Killorn (3) slid the puck past Sabres G Linus Ullmark.  The assists went to D Victor Hedmon (8) and Stamkos (9) and that’s how the first 20 minutes ended from a scoring standpoint.

Buffalo cut the deficit to 2-1 at 15:43 of the second period. F Sam Reinhart (6) managed to put the biscuit in the basket behind G Vasilevskiy and that was the only scoring in the middle period.

The Lightning regained the two-goal margin in the third period.  Gourde (3) made it 3-1 with helpers from F Pat Maroon (3) as well as F Cedric Paquette (1).

The Sabres made it interesting at 11:30 of the final period.  Reinhart (7) scored for the second time in the contest but it was not enough as the Bolts held on for a big two points.

G Vasilevskiy (6-4-0) stopped 20 of 22 shots to earn the victory. G Ulmark (3-3-1) saved 31 of 34 pucks in the hard luck defeat.

Round Two of the Global Series will continue with a back-to-back game with Buffalo now the visiting team.  Let’s see if Tampa Bay can make it a clean sweep in Sweden.

BUFFALO SABRES (W 5-3)

Tampa Bay made it a clean sweep of Buffalo in their back-to-back NHL Global Series games in Sweden.  The Lightning bested the Sabres 5-3 and that moved the Bolts to 8-5-2 while the team from upstate New York fell to 9-6-2 on the campaign.

Buffalo struck first as Reinhart (8) continued to be a thorn in the side of the Bolts in Stockholm.  That goal, which was his third of the two-game set, gave the Sabres a 1-0 at 9:30 of the opening period.

Tampa Bay tied the score when F Pat Maroon (2) lit the lamp at 17:02 with a power player marker that alluded Sabres G Carter Hutton.  The assists went to Gourde (4) along with Shattenkirk (8) and both teams went to the first intermission tied at 1-all.

The Bolts took the lead early in the second stanza via the power play again.  Hedman (3) found the back of the net at 1:58 with the help of Stamkos (10) and Kucherov (8).

Tampa Bay padded their lead with just three seconds left in the middle period.  Maroon (3) put the biscuit in the basket for his second goal of the contest with the assists going to Paquette (2) as well as Shattenkirk (9) and that gave the Bolts a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.

The Sabres cut the Lightning lead to 3-2 at 4:14 of the final period.  F Victor Olofsson (7) managed to slide the puck past G McElhinney to give Buffalo a ray of hope.

That hope was snuffed out by the Bolts at 9:48.  Gourde (4) scored after a nice set-up pass from Paquette (3) to extend the Tampa Bay lead to 4-2

The Lightning scored an insurance goal just over a minute later to increase the lead to 5-2.  Joseph (4) scored with assists from Killorn (5) and Cirelli (6) to, for all intents and purposes, secure the victory.

Buffalo did change the arithmetic with 38 ticks left in regulation.  Jack Eichel (8) deposited the puck into the goal to make the final score 5-3 in favor of Tampa Bay.

McElhinney (2-1-2) stopped 40 of 43 shots on goal to earn the victory. Hutton (6-3-1) saved 35 of 40 in defeat.

So, let’s review, shall we?  After probably their most grueling road trip of the season, the Bolts ended up 3-2 for a total of 6 points.  Now, it’s time to fly back across the Atlantic and a four-day R & R before starting a two-game home stand.  The Rangers and Winnipeg will provide the opposition and then the Lightning hit the road for contests in St. Louis and Chicago.  The five-game set concludes back in Tampa when the Ducks come calling to Amalie Arena.  Stay close to the TV to see how this group of games play out.