Tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning went toe to toe with a team from the Western Conference that is very evenly matched with the Bolts. While the game was predominately a neck and neck race, a surge in the third period led the Lightning to a 4-2 win over Alexander Steen and the St. Louis Blues.
The game definitely did not start out according to plan for the Bolts. The Blues drew first blood tonight with a goal from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, assisted by center David Backes and left wing Alexander Steen.
Just over the halfway point in the period, Alex Killorn scored his 4th goal of the season unassisted. With the game all tied up, these two teams would head to intermission.
Early in the first period, Steven Stamkos netted his 11th goal of the season, extending his scoring streak to 6 games. This would give the Bolts the second lead of the night. Stamkos got assists from center Alex Killorn and defenseman Mark Barberio.
Unfortunately for the Lightning, the lead would not last for very long. Just over 2 minutes later, the Blues evened things up with a goal from Blues center Jaden Schwartz with the assists from defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and center Patrik Berglund.
Surprisingly enough, this would be the end of the scoring for the entire period.
Through the first two periods of play, neither team would be able to reach the 10 shot per period mark. That is…until the third period.
The third period started out just as the others, back and forth play, both teams fighting for the puck, and both teams making good, solid hits.
However, it would be the Tampa Bay Lightning who would slam their foot on the gas and propel themselves back into the lead with a goal from Brett Connolly, his first of the season, with the assists from defenseman Radko Gudas and center Valtteri Filppula.
The Lightning would do a good job of holding back the Blues’ offense, largely in part to a spectacular showing from Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop was able to stop 28 of the 30 shots that the Blues brought against him. This gave him a Save Percentage of .933.
The Bolts would cap off the evening with what I like to call the “insurance goal”. At 16:01 in the third period, Filppula would get a goal of his own, his fifth of the season, with the assists from Killorn and defenseman Eric Brewer.
Assist from Bishop, who like I mentioned had made some amazing saves tonight, Alex Killorn seriously stood out among the rest tonight. With one goal and two assists tonight, it is no surprise that he was tonight’s first star.
Speaking of Ben Bishop, I am very impressed with the way that he handled himself tonight. Not that he doesn’t consistently put up stellar performances every night; however, tonight he was forced to content with the league’s leading goal scorer. Bishop, being the amazing netminder he is, barring an assist in the first period, would hold Steen off the scoreboard.
Here is one of the saves that Bishop made against Steen.
At the end of the game, the Blues would ultimately outshoot the Bolts 30-25; however, the Bolts were able to make the most out of their opportunities, giving them the leg up at the end of the game.
The Bolts were able to hang tight with the Blues in the Faceoff Circle, as the two teams ended the game with a 30-30 tie.
While I feel like the Bolts started out ok, the started to slip a little in the second period. I don’t know if they started to lose their confidence or whether they were suffering the consequences of overpassing, but the fight was seemingly slipping away from them.
I am not sure what was said in the locker room during the second intermission, but we definitely saw a bolder, reinvigorated Bolts team.
The energy, not only from the players, but from the crowd as well heading into the middle of the third period was astounding.
Three Stars of the Game:
Next up for the Tampa Bay Lightning, they have the next four days to relax, recover, and then get back to the ice before they host the Edmonton Oilers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday, November 7th.
What did you think of the Lightning’s performance tonight? Which Bolt would you have put into the third star position? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.