The Lightning offense fought hard, but a constant string of unnecessary penalties led the Tampa Bay Lightning to fall to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.
This game started out pretty rough for the Tampa Bay Lightning. A lot of early turnovers put them in a rather precarious position in the first period. Thankfully for the Bolts, goaltender Anders Lindback was able to hold strong.
The Bolts gave the Blue Jackets 3 opportunities in a row for a Power Play in the first. Thanks to the Lightning’s penalty kill squad, the Blue Jackets were unable to capitalize on those opportunities. This is something that they would have to get under control if they want to stay on top of this game.
The second period didn’t start out in the Bolts favor. A goal from Columbus center Ryan Johansen at 3:46 would give the Blue Jackets the lead.
Just over 30 seconds after the goal from Johansen, Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky would head to the sin bin for 2 minutes for Cross Checking Tyler Johnson. The Lightning were able to capitalize on the opportunity with a deflection from Alex Killorn.
However, the Lightning are never satisfied with a tie. Less than one minute later, it would be Victor Hedman who would fire off a wrist shot that would go flying past Bobrovsky giving Hedman his 9th goal of the season, and the Lightning a 1 goal lead.
Both of these teams would battle back and forth, but the situation would not change heading into intermission. The Bolts would head to the locker room leading the Blue Jackets 2-1.
The third period brought some of the same struggles for the Bolts. The team would find themselves in the box two more times in the third period. Both of those penalties resulted in goals for the Blue Jackets. The first Blue Jackets goal came from Nathan Horton while J.P. Cote sat in the box for 2 minutes for Hooking Nick Foligno. The second came from Jack Johnson while Tyler Johnson sat in the box for 2 minutes for Hooking Boone Jenner.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Lightning would fall to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2.
Despite what the scoreboard may say, Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback had a decent night. He stopped 23 of 26 shots that the Blue Jackets brought upon him. This gave him a Save Percentage of .855.
While these are not stellar numbers, anyone who watched the game will tell you that Lindback made some pretty incredible saves tonight. This game could have gone a very different direction if Lindback hadn’t been on his game.
Speaking of being on his game, what about Victor Hedman? Not only did he score a goal in the first period, but he played very aggressive defense tonight. Even after his stick broke and he was left with nothing to his name, he still got up in the play using everything he had to get the job done; hands, skate, body, it didn’t matter…Hedman did it.
There were two things that killed the Bolts tonight; the turnovers and the penalties. The Lightning had plenty of Shots on Goal tonight. The Bolts tied the Blue Jackets 28-28 in Shots. The Blue Jackets just edged the Lightning in Faceoffs Won 31-27. What is the difference here; the penalties.
The Lightning gave the Blue Jackets a total of 6 chances on the Power Play tonight. Yes, 6. This simply can’t happen if the Lightning wants to remain in contention.
Now, as most of you already know by now, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has been activated from the Injured Reserve. Now, it is not known at this particular moment on who will be in net tomorrow night in New York; however, Bishop is now available.
Three Stars of the Night:
What did you take away from tonight’s game? What do you think the Bolts will need to do to get back on track tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden? Sound off in the comments below and let your voices be heard.