Jan 7, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their win after the game against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Tampa Bay wins 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning Finish Road Trip Strong As They Defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2

The Tampa Bay Lightning finished out their road trip on a high note as they defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.

The first period started off with a bang. Just 1:20 into the game, Valtteri Filppula, who was named to Finland’s 2014 Olympic Hockey Roster earlier today, scored his 17th goal of the season with the assists from Teddy Purcell and Alex Killorn.

I would seem that the Lightning were not able to keep themselves out of the box in the first period. There was a total of 9 minutes in penalties to the Bolts in the first twenty minutes of play. However, it was the call to goaltender Anders Lindback for Delay of Game that opened the door for a 5 on 3 opportunity for the Jets.

The Jets were able to capitalize on that opportunity, tying the score at one.

There was no true “flurry” of offense in the first, but the Lightning did outshoot the Jets 5-2 in the first period.

The second period started with a lot of the same as the first period. The Bolts started off the period with a penalty to Victor Hedman at 3:31 for Hooking Jets left wing Evander Kane.

This opened the door for the Jets power play. Once again, the Jets were able to capitalize and pick up the one goal lead. The goal on the Power Play was scores by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien with the assists from right wing Blake Wheeler and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

With just under 5 minutes left in the period, Ondrej Palat would tie it up at 2 for the Lightning. This extended Palat’s point streak to 7 games, the longest in the league by a rookie.

The assists on Palat’s goal went to Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn. For Killorn, this was his second point of the night.

The penalties would continue to spin out of control in the second. The Bolts would serve another 9 minutes in penalties in the second. Five of those would go to B.J. Crombeen for his fight with Chris Thorburn. There was also the 2 minutes to Hedman for Hooking Evander Kane, and two minutes to Radko Gudas for Roughing Blake Wheeler.

Speaking of the penalty to Gudas, I find this entire situation perplexing. Wheeler is rushing down the ice, Gudas plants his weight, when Wheeler barrels into Gudas sending him flying and spinning down the ice. Gudas gets up, and then Wheeler wants to fight Gudas. How does this equate?

Oh well, so is hockey.

Out of this entire debacle, Wheeler gets 2 for Cross-Checking and 2 for Roughing, while Gudas gets 2 for Roughing. At the end of the day, it worked out for the Lightning.

Unfortunately, up until this point, the Bolts have not been able to capitalize on the Power Play.

The Lightning started the third period out with a lot of energy. Unfortunately, the penalties would start again at 1:48 when Barberio would be whistled for 2 minutes for Holding Jets right wing Bryan Little.

The penalties just kept flowing in the third period, but we will get to that later.

The penalty that made both a positive and a negative impact on the Lightning came at 7:48 in the third when Jets right wing Michael Frolik boarded Nate Thompson, sending his head slamming into the dasherboard. Thompson would lay on the ice for quite some time before he got to his feet. Thompson was able to leave the ice under his own volition. Thankfully, it was not too long before he was back out on the Lightning bench; however, with all of the injuries that the Lightning are suffering from right now this is something that is likely to cause Lightning fans to simultaneously gasp in horror.

There is a very good possibility that Frolik will face some sort of supplemental discipline on the play, as this was a clear case of boarding. We will have to keep our eyes open on that one.

On the flip side, it was this Power Play that opened the door for the captain, Martin St. Louis to score with a tip-in off of a shot from Victor Hedman with the secondary assist to Teddy Purcell.

With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Marty would score his second goal of the night while shorthanded on the empty net. This would be all the insurance the Bolts would need to pull out the win. Ultimately, the Tampa Bay Lightning would defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.

Now, what about all of those penalties? Here is a look at the penalty summary from tonight’s game.

Penalty Summary from January 7, 2014 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Winnipeg Jets. Photo Credit: NHL.com

Penalty Summary from January 7, 2014 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Winnipeg Jets.
Photo Credit: NHL.com

Towards the end of the third period, there was a huge dust up that resulted in 5 penalties; 3 to Winnipeg, 2 to Tampa Bay. Two of those were to Dustin Byfuglien, one for interference to Anders Lindback and one for roughing J.P. Cote. Then there is the 2 minutes to Evander Kane for Roughing Eric Brewer. On the Lightning side, there were 2 penalties; one to Brewer for Roughing Kane and one to Cote for Roughing Byfuglien.

Did the chaos end there? Oh, of course not!

With just 20 seconds in the game, the chaos opened up again with a throwdown between Kane and Brewer. I guess the Jets did enjoy the empty net shorthanded goal too much.

While I am happy that the penalties the Lightning took did not negatively impact the course of the game; should the penalty kill not been as hot as they were tonight, this game could have turned out much, much worse.

The Bolts most definitely need to get these penalties under wraps, because Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are not going to be as forgiving as the Jets.

It was nice to see Anders Lindback get a win tonight. He blocked 12 of 14 shots that were brought against him. The two goals that he did allow were both while the Bolts were on the penalty kill. He ended the night with a Save Percentage of .857.

The Lightning seem to be getting back the fire that they had just a few short games back. If they can keep that fire burning and keep themselves out of the penalty box, they will certainly be able to give the Caps a run for their money.

Three Stars of the Game:

  1. Martin St. Louis
  2. Victor Hedman
  3. Tobias Enstrom

Next up for the Tampa Bay Lightning, they will head home to the Tampa Bay Times Forum to go head-to-head with the Capitals on Thursday. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. ET.

What do you take away from tonight’s performance? Who do you think really stood out for the Bolts tonight? What do they need to do keep the momentum rolling back home on Thursday? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.


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