Tampa Bay ended Phoenix’s winning streak at eight games in an 8-3 rout. The Lightning had three days off and a bonding golf trip, and boy did it show tonight against the Coyotes. Something happened tonight for the first time since December 28: Steven Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis all scored in the same game.
In fact, they all scored in the same period. The first period, where the Bolts jumped out to a 5-0 lead (powered by a 3-for-4 power play) that they would never relinquish. It was the first time the Bolts has multiple power play points since December 20, and they had 3 in 4 first-period opportunities.
It was also a memorable night for Teddy Purcell. He had his first career hat trick tonight after opening the scoring, then notching the 6th and 7th Tampa Bay goals. His effort rightfully earned him the first star of the game.
The Lightning completely dominated the game from start to finish. They were able to use their high-powered offense to strike quickly and often, winning by a score of 2-0 3 minutes into the game. Tampa would be up 7-0 before the Coyotes scored their first goal in the second period.
It’s so important that the Lightning finish out this homestand strong, and tonight’s effort looked like they really understood that. Not only that, but the Coyotes really looked like a team that was playing the second half of a back-to-back and just won eight straight. The wind was taken out of their sails early, and they couldn’t recover.
The Lightning power play ended 3 for 5 on the night. Lecavalier had a five-point night, and both Purcell and St. Louis had three-point nights.
Worth noting is that this performance came after the team took a trip to Naples for some golf, practicing at Germain arena (home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades). It was clear things were getting a little stale for the Lightning, what with being home so long, and a good team bonding trip proved to pay off as everyone was rested and focused tonight from start to finish.
They will look to build off this lead on Friday against the suddenly surging New Jersey Devils.
1st: Teddy Purcell
2nd: Vincent Lecavalier
3rd: Martin St. Louis
Highlights, courtesy of NHL.com