Right before the All-Star break, the Tampa Bay Lightning had finished with a 4 game winning streak. First bringing in a win at home against the Boston Bruins, and back-to-back games in Dallas and Phoenix. On Wednesday, Lightning won their fourth straight game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home. The four game winning streak is the longest streak of the season so far.
The win against the Blue Jackets brought the Lightning record to 21-23-4 and leaves them at 11th place in the East and 23rd overall.
Mike Angelidis, who was brought down from Norfolk Admirals, opened up the scoring 13:20 in the first period, unassisted, which was his first career goal. Brett Lebda, Columbus Blue Jackets, answered with a goal 15:07 in the first period tying up the game at 1-1. Rick Nash, Blue Jackets, took the first penalty, hooking, 5:59 in the first period.
The second period wasn’t nearly as quiet as the first, with Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis both scoring goals. Lecavalier scored his 19th goal, a power play goal, 8:19 in the 2nd period with assists from Bruno Gervais and Marty St. Louis. St. Louis‘ goal came 16:56 as a tip-in with an assist from Lecavalier. Lecavalier’s assist gave him assists in 6 straight games. Grant Clitsome and Derek MacKenzie, Blue Jackets, both received 2 minutes for tripping at different times in the second period. The only penalty from the Lightning in the third period was Matt Gilroy, who received a hooking penalty.
A minute and two seconds into the third period, Teddy Purcell was called for too many men. Ryan Johansen, Blue Jackets, scored the Blue Jackets’ 2nd goal of the game 5:40 in the third period, but Nate Thompson answered with a 4th goal to seal up the game at 11:29, allowing the Lightning to win their fourth consecutive game, 4-1. Colton Gillies received a penalty for kneeing.
Mathieu Garon had a save percentage of 0.917 and his record improved 9-4-0 at home this season.
Guy Boucher on winning right before the All-Star break, “It means a lot for our guys to fight and push and the fact that the guys that are coming up are able to play with us it makes a gigantic difference. We’ve talked about the first step for our organization is to build depth and when you see those players come up—we’ve got nine regular players missing; it’s not just one or two holes you have to fill—and the guys are able to do it night after night and every guy has found a way to contribute. That’s rare. We’re on the right path to find our depth. The guys that are working with in the American League are doing a good job and the guys themselves are figuring out what they need to do when they come up here. It’s a must if we want our organization to win in the future; it’s a really good sign—a major building block..”
A 4 game winning streak is a great way to head off to the NHL All-Star break. Let’s hope the guys can keep this momentum once they come back after the break. After the break, we’ll hopefully be seeing Victor Hedman, Ryan Shannon, & Tom Pyatt back on the ice in Lightning gear and pick up where we left off.