By Leo Haggerty

GAMES 10 & 11

The Bolts secured three out of a possible four points over the last week.  As you will read below, it could have very easily been a four pointer.


For 59:18, it looked like Tampa Bay was going to grab two points on the road  over Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena but that scenario went south in a hurry.  The Maple Leafs scored the tying goal with just 42 ticks left in regulation and then lit the lamp at 2:43 into overtime to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat over the Lightning by a 2-1 count.  The win propelled the Leafs to 6-4-1 on the season and that computes to 13 points.  With the overtime loss the Bolts log moved to 5-3-2 on the campaign and that equates to 12 points.

Tampa Bay scored first at 13:16 of the opening period.  F Pat Maroon (1) scored his first goal of the season beating G Jack Campbell (24 saves on 25 shots) top shelf.  A beautiful pass from F Corey Perry (1) set up the goal with D Erik Cernak (3) contributing the other assist and it looked like the Lightning were going to make that 1-0 score stand up.

Sadly, that would not be the case.  After a scoreless middle period, Toronto tied the encounter at 19:18 of the final period.  With the Maple Leafs pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, F John Tavares (4) knocked the puck behind G Andrei Vasilevskiy (32 saves on 34 shots) from right in front of the crease to send the game to extra hockey.

The sad thing is the Bolts had two chances to win the contest in regulation.  The first was when D Mikhail Sergachev sent a clearing pass that was heading directly into the empty net but it was tracked down just a few feet short of giving the Lightning a 2-0 lead by the Maple Leafs defender.  The second was when D Victor Hedman failed to clear the puck and that led directly to the Leafs tying marker.

Hedman was the victim in overtime as well.  #77 was called for slashing and Toronto capitalized on the man advantage with F William Nylander (5) finding the back of the net at 2:34 to give the home team a huge two points.


Tampa Bay shook off any effects of the devastating loss to Toronto and exploded for three unanswered third period markers to capture a 5-3 victory over Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Center.  The victory propelled the Lightning, in a game they never trailed, to 6-3-2 for the season and that adds up to 14 points.  The loss dropped the Senators to 3-7-1 and that computes to 7 points for 2021-22.

The Bolts opened the scoring at 4:27 with a power play score.  With the man advantage, Hedman (1) fired a slap shot through a crowd that eluded G Matt Murray (28 saves on 32 shots).  Assists were credited to F Steven Stamkos (8) and F Brayden Point (3) and Tampa Bay moved out to a 1-0 lead.

The Sens posted their first score of the contest at 1:39 of the second period.  F Connor Brown (2) found the back of the net to even the score at a goal apiece.

The Lightning retook the lead at 10:06 of the middle period.  D Jan Rutta (1) lit the lamp with the help of  F Ondrej Palat (3) and Point (4) to give the Bolts a 2-1 advantage.

Ottawa knotted the score again with just 43 seconds left before intermission.  Brady Tkachuk (3) slid the puck past G Brian Elliott (28 saves on 32 shots) to make the score 2 all at the end of 40 minutes of play.

Tampa Bay scored the next three goals but the outcome was not secured until late in the final period.  Stamkos (6) started the third period scoring at 7:32 with assists registered to F Alex Killorn (4) and F Mathieu Joseph (3) to put the Lightning back in front by a 3-2 count.

The next two Bolts markers occurred late in the third period.  Palat (4) found the back of the net at 18:19 and F Anthony Cirelli (3) put the puck into an empty net with just 34 seconds left in regulation.  The first set of assists went to Cirelli (6) and D Ryan McDonagh (4) with the second pair of helpers going to Palat (4) and Point (5) to give Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead.

The Senators weren’t finished and notched the final goal of the contest with 16 ticks left in the final period.  F Logan Shaw (1) made the final score 5-3 in favor of the Lightning giving the Bolts a much needed two points.

Now, Tampa Bay begins a three game home stretch against three teams they eliminated in the 2020-21 Stanley Cup playoffs.  Tuesday the Carolina Hurricanes show up with the Florida Panthers the opposition on Saturday and the New York Islanders finish off the home stand a week from today.

These next trio of games will go a long way to determine where the Lightning fit into the grand scheme of things.  Look for our next recap after the Isles game on Monday to get the results.