LIGHTNING RECAP – DECEMBER 13
By Leo Haggerty

 GAMES 25 THROUGH 27 

Tampa Bay finished off their five-game road trip with a swing North of the Border for a trio of contests.  The Bolts finished 2-1 in their Canadian journey and that was good for four out of a possible six point.

How did it happen?  Check out the recap below.  Enjoy.

 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 3  MONTREAL CANADIENS 2

Tampa Bay was trailing late in the contest and then exploded for two goals in the final 2:09 to rescue a 3-2 victory over Montreal at Centre Bell Arena.  The win advanced the Lightning to 16-5-4 and that adds up to 36 points.  The loss dropped the Canadiens to 6-18-3 and that computes to 15 points.

The Bolts scored first at 10:31 of the opening period.  F Pat Marron (6) maneuvered the puck behind G Jake Allen (24 saves on 27 shots) to post an unassisted marker putting Tampa Bay up 1-0.

The Habs notched two middle period goals to take the lead.  F Nick Suzuki (6) wristed a shot past G Andrei Vasilevskiy (21 saves on 23 shots) that tied the encounter at the 4:20 mark.  That was followed at 7:08 when former Tampa Bay F Jonathan Drouin (4) deposited another wrister in the back of the net giving the Canadiens a quick 2-1 advantage that stood up going into the third period.

The Lightning finally evened the score at 17:51 of the final period.  F Corey Perry (6) put the biscuit in the basket with F Steven Stamkos 16) and D Victor Hedman (22) notching the assists.  That made it 2-2 but the Bolts were not finished.

F Ondrej Palat (7) carded the game winner with just 38 seconds left in regulation.  Helpers went to Killorn (13) and F Anthony Cirelli (9) that gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead that Tampa Bay protected for their third straight win on the road trip.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 5  TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 3

The Lightning increased their winning streak on this road trip to four games by defeating the Maple Leafs 5-3 at the Scotiabank Arena.  The triumph moved Tampa Bay to 17-5-4 for 38 points.  The defeat left Toronto with an 18-8-2 log that adds up to an identical 38 points.

The Maple Leafs got on the board early at 1:44 of the opening period.  With F Taylor Raddysh off for tripping, F Ondrej Kase (7) found the back of the net giving the home team a quick 1-0 lead.

The Bolts answered with a pair of first period goals of their own.  The first was when F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (2) guided a backhander past G Jack Campbell (22 saves on 26 shots) at 9:57. Perry (5) was credited with the only assist score tying the tilt at 1-1.  The second came at 12:16 when Stamkos (13) blasted a slap shot into the back of the net with Tampa Bay on the power play.  The one helper went to Killorn (14) giving the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

Toronto got the equalizer with just 7 second left in the opening period with the Maple Leafs second power plat of the contest.  F William Nylander (12) blasted a slap shot by Vasilevskiy (35 saves on 38 shots) to knot the score at 2 all after 20 minutes of play.

Tampa Bay came back with the only two markers of the middle period by the same triad of players.  The first coming at 4:02 with Palat (8) lighting the lamp with assists credited to Stamkos (17) and Raddysh (4) putting the Lightning back in the lead at 3-2.  The second coming at 9:11 by the same threesome.  This time it was  Raddysh (3) doing the honors with Palat (9) and Stamkos (18) providing the helpers giving the Bolts a 4-2 lead.

The Maple Leafs would cut the deficit in half at 9:36 of the final period. Kase (8) again slid the rubber disk over the goal line moving Toronto within a goal at 4-3 but that’s as close as the home team would get.

With 29 seconds left in regulation, Palat (9) guided home an empty netter.  Assists were recorded by Stamkos (19) and Killorn (15) making the final arithmetic 5-3 in favor of Tampa Bay.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 0  OTTAWA SENATORS 4

Ottawa took advantage of a Tampa Bay squad at the end of a five-game road trip and came away with a 4-0 triumph at the Canadian Tire Centre Arena.  The win boosted the Senators to 9-16-1 totaling 19 points.  The loss dropped the Lightning to 17-6-4 keeping their point total at 38.

The Sens posted their first goal at 12:40 of the opening period.  F Josh Norris (12) maneuvered the puck behind G Brian Elliott (19 saves on 22 shots) giving Ottawa a 1-0 lead.

From that point on it became a two-man show for the Senators.  The first was G Anton Forsberg who stopped all 25 shots for the shutout.  The second was Brady Tkachuk who posted a hat trick giving the Ottawa forward 11 goals on the campaign.  The first two came at 3:32 and 5:31 of the middle period and both occurred while the Bolts were in the penalty box.  The last score was of the empty net variety and came at the 16:17 mark of the third period making the final score
4-0 in favor of the Sens.