LIGHTNING RECAP – APRIL 9
By Leo Haggerty

GAMES 37 THROUGH 40

During an earlier Zoom media availability, Tampa Bay Head Coach Jon Cooper made a very prolific statement.  He emphasized, “the goal is to get a point a game” and that came to fruition in this quartet of contests.

The Bolts posted a 2-2 log over that stretch and that added up to four points.  Below is how it happened.  Enjoy.

DETROIT RED WINGS 1  TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2
Tampa Bay scored early and then held on with the help of a hot goaltender as the Bolts secured a 2-1 victory over Detroit at Amalie Arena.  The win moved the Lightning to 26-9-2 while the loss dropped the Red Wings to 12-22-5.

The Bolts struck first at 4:07 of the opening period.  Rookie F Ross Colton (4) continued his fine play by beating Detroit G Thomas Griess (27 saves on 29 shots) to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

The Lightning doubled their margin at 7:26 of the first period.  F Brayden Point (16) put the biscuit in the basket and that gave the home team a 2-0 advantage.

Both goalies took charge in the middle period and pitched shutouts.  The Red Wings got in the scoring column at 4:00 of the final period.  F Adam Erne (8) maneuvered the puck past Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy (25 saves on 26 shots) and, all of a sudden, the Bolts were hanging on to a 2-1 lead with lots of time remaining in regulation.

Again, both netminders found a way to keep the puck in front of them for the duration of the third .  That gave the Lightning the victory and a hard earned two points.

DETROIT RED WINGS 5  TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 1
The Red Wings came back in less than 24 hours to salvage the second contest of a two game series by a score of 5-1 over the Bolts at Amalie Arena.  The win pushed Detroit to 13-22-5 and the defeat put the Tampa Bay log at 26-10-2 on the campaign.

The Wings scored first with just 13 seconds left in the opening period.  F Dylan Larkin (7) scored with Detroit having the man advantage to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.The Red Wings scored three late second period markers to break the tilt open.  F Valtteri Filppula (3) scored at 16:05 and F Michael Rasmussen (2) beat Tampa Bay G Christopher Gibson (13 saves on 18 shots) just 29 seconds later.

Detroit made it 4-nothing with just 1:02 before the second intermission.  D Marc Staal (3) found the back of the net to give the Wings a 4-zip advantage.

Tampa Bay showed some life and scored at 4:12 of the final period.  D Victor Hedman ( 7) scored but that was the only goal that Griess (27 saves on 28 shots) would allow.

The Red Wings posted an insurance marker at 14:19.  F Darren Helm (2) did the honors and that was enough to secure the Motor City Gang two big points.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2  COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 4
Columbus scored the first four goals of the tilt then held on for a 4-2 triumph over visiting Tampa Bay at Nationwide Arena.  The win propelled the Blue Jackets to 15-18-8 while the Lightning dipped to 26-11-2 in 2020-21.

The Jackets struck first at 14:57 of the first period.  F Zac Dalpe (1) deposited the puck behind Vasilevskiy (26 saves on 29 shots) to give Columbus an early 1-0 lead.

The Blue Jackets increased the margin at 2:03 of the middle period.  F Jack Roslovic (7) lit the lamp to give the home team a 2-zip advantage.

Columbus stretched the lead to 4-0 in the final period.  F Max Domi (6) converted a power play marker at 6:08 and F Nick Foligno (7) rounded out the Jackets scoring at 13:30.

The Bolts made it respectable with two late scores.  Again, it was Colton (5) cutting the lead to 4-1 at 14:37 and D Luke Schenn (1) beat Columbus G Joonas Korpisalo (36 saves on 38 shots) with just 19 seconds remaining in regulation.

Sadly, for the Lightning, it was too little and too late.  The Blue Jackets cruised to a 4-2 victory and a much needed two points in the standings.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 6  COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 4
The Lightning salvaged a split in their two game road series with a 6-4 triumph over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.  This advanced Tampa Bay to 27-11-2 and left Columbus with a 15-19-8 log.

The Bolts exploded for four goals in the opening period.  F Blake Coleman (8) lit the lamp just 58 seconds into the contest.  F Steven Stamkos (17) found the back of the net with a power play score at 4:41.  F Barclay Goodrow (6) made it 3-0 and that ended the evening for G Korpisalo (3 saves on 6 shots) exactly a minute later.

Columbus dented the scoreboard at 17:21.  D Michael Del Zotto (3) cut the lead to 3-1 at 17:21.

The Lightning answered that with a goal of their own.  D Ryan McDonough (4) lit the lamp with just one second left in the opening 20 minutes to give Tampa Bay a 4-1 advantage after one period of play.

Colton (6) continued his hot streak in the second period.  The rookie beat reserve G Elvis Merzlinkis (21 saves on 24 shots) at 4:54 to made the count 5-1 in favor of the Lightning.

The Blue Jackets got one back at 17:08.  Roslovic (8) found a way to get the puck past Vasilevskiy (32 saves on 36 shots) to make the count 5-2 but McDonough (5) scored his second goal of the evening to push the Tampa Bay lead to 6-2 after two periods.

Columbus did make it interesting in the final period.  D Zack Werenski (7) scored at 10:41 and Domi (7) lit the lamp at 19:14 to make it 6-4.

The Bolts managed to close out the final 46 seconds to secure the victory.  That allowed Tampa Bay to add two more points to their total.

Now, the Lightning head to Nashville for a two game set with the Predators.  Then, it’s back to Amalie Arena to take on the Florida Panthers for a two game series in what could be a battle for the top spot in the Central Division.

Look for our next Lightning Recap around the middle of April.  Until then, stay safe.