The tone of the game was set very early with what seemed like an endless string of penalties on Winnipeg, allowing the Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play to dominate as the Lightning defeat the Winnipeg Jets with a score of 8-3.
It all started at around 5:59 in the first period with a penalty to Winnipeg’s Zach Redmond. With only 2 seconds left on that penalty, Cory Conacher was able to net one past Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec with a tip-in from Matt Carle and Benoit Pouliot.
Business really picked up at 12:11 in the first when Jets’ RW Chris Thorburn was called to the penalty box for a 5 minute major for Checking from Behind to Lightning Defenseman Sami Salo. This would cause Salo to miss the remainder of the first period.
Not even a minute into the major to Thorburn; Jets’ Defenseman Ron Hainey is called to the box for 2 minutes for Delaying the Game at 12:47.
Lightning struck once again at 14:11 when Lightning Center Steven Stamkos netted his 5th goal of the season two minutes into the major to Thorburn and 1:24 into the penalty to the penalty to Hainey. Making the score 2-0 Lightning.
Once again, at 16:04 the Jets assess another penalty as Defenseman Mark Stuart headed to the box for 2 minutes for Cross Checking Lightning Left Wing Ryan Malone. Less than a minute later, at 16:55, Lightning Captain Vincent Lecavalier netted his 4th goal of the season with assists from Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. This would prove to be the Lightning’s 3rd PPG of the night.
At 18:25, Jets’ LW Evader Kane is called to the box for 2 minutes for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. This would bring the first period to a close with the Lightning up 3-0.
The Lightning would start the second period on the Power Play. Just as that Power Play would end, Cory Conacher nets his second goal of the night off of a tip-in from Eric Brewer and Vinny Lecavalier.
After the goal from Thompson, the Jets call Pavelec to the bench and send Al Montoya to the goal.
One minute later, the Lightning welcome Montoya to the game with a wrist shot from Teddy Purcell with the assist to Stamkos. With 3 goals in the first, and 3 goals in the second, this makes the score 6-0 Lightning.
There would be no more goals in the second, but we would see 3 more penalties. At 6:25 Thompson was called to the box for Roughing at the same time that Winnipeg’s Alexei Ponikarovsky was called for Slashing resulting in a 4 on 4. Then at 10:44, Lightning Center Tom Pyatt would be called for 2 minutes for Holding.
With the third period well underway, the Jets would score their first goal of the night as Jets’ Defenseman Tobias Enstrom got one past Lightning Goaltender Anders Lindback making the score, 6-1 Lightning.
Two minutes later, at 8:46, Lightning Left Wing Ryan Malone struck back as he sent one flying past Montoya with assists Lecavalier and Conacher.
As the game was coming to a close, Benoit Pouliot shot on past Montoya with assists from Tom Pyatt and Victor Hedman.
The Lightning Power Play was capitalized on every chance that they were given tonight. They were given 15 minutes of play tonight, which produced all three of the Lightning’s goals in the first period.
The Lightning have also done a better job of staying out of the penalty box, serving only 10 minutes in penalties tonight.
It should also be noted that the Lightning have been playing much more offensively this season. This is something that they have been lacking in previous seasons. With the addition of Cory Conacher to the Lightning Roster, they have clearly strengthened their offense. Conacher is now tied with Steven Stamkos for the most goals for the Lightning with 5. With his 7 assists in tow, he now has 12 points this season; second only to Stamkos with 14.
With tonight’s win against the Jets, Stamkos extends his point streak to 7 games. He has also had a goal in each of the last 4 games.
The Lightning look to keep their undefeated streak at home alive when they meet the Brad Richards and the New York Rangers tomorrow night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Game time is 7pm. If you can’t Be the Thunder in person, you can catch the game on Sun Sports.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Cory Conacher
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Eric Brewer