The move paid off, as Brandon Yip tipped Duchene’s shot from the high slot past Ellis to make it a 6-4 game.
With Budaj again off for an extra skater, Winnik sent a pass from the left point that deflected off of Hejduk’s skate and into the Lightning cage, and with 1:06 left, the Avs were within one at 6-5.
But that was as close as it would get.
The Bolts were able to hold off the Colorado threat and grab two much needed points.
Shots on goal were heavily in favor of Tampa Bay, as they finished the game with a 39-24 edge.
While Ellis yielded five goals, the only one that he could really be faulted for was the first Avs goal of the game by Dupuis from a bad angle.
It was a good performance, and one that the Lightning needed after the last couple of shaky games from their netminders.
As the Bolts head out West for the next three contests over the next week, they leave Florida on a high note. The 7-2-1 mark over their last 10 has the Lightning into the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, and even tonight’s victory wasn’t in classic fashion, has taken the sting away from Thursday’s bludgeoning in Boston.
Stamkos Held Scoreless – Again
For a fifth straight contest, Stamkos was held without a goal. And in a game where the Lightning scored six goals, the Bolts’ leading scorer did not register a single point.
Stamkos is still getting his chances and the goals and points will once again start to come. But it has to be a good sign that the club is still putting up some big offensive numbers even without Stamkos contributing as much as he had earlier.
Gagne Red Hot
Gagne had a goal and two assists, and now has two goals and five points in the three games since his return from a neck injury that kept him on the shelf for 18 contests.
Not a bad output after not recording a point in his first six games with the Bolts prior to the injury.
Boucher Doing an Amazing Job
Something that needs to be pointed out is that Guy Boucher is doing an amazing job with his club in his first season as head coach.
After Thursday’s humiliating 8-1 loss in Boston, Boucher had his club ready at the start of the game tonight. As a matter of fact, in previous games that Tampa Bay has been blown out, Boucher’s team has come back to win the next game or at least pick up a point.
Following a 6-0 loss in Florida on October 16th, the Bolts bounced back with a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars.
When the Washington Capitals trounced the Lightning by a 6-0 score on November 26th, Tampa Bay came back to pick up a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.
Boucher is making an early case to be considered for the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of the Year.
Bolts Bits: Ritola was recently diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder where fluid builds up and affects the equilibrium. It will be a recurring problem, but doctors will attempt to keep it under control with medication…the Bolts went 2-6 on the power play and the Avs were 1-4 with the man advantage…the win over Colorado was Tampa’s first in the last seven games against the Avalanche, dating back to March of 2004…although he didn’t record any points, Stamkos won eight-of-11 faceoffs…Hall won six-of-eight faceoffs, and Thompson six-of-ten…Malone led all skaters with nine shots on goal.