The Tampa Bay Lightning came out strong, and kept the momentum rolling as they defended home ice in the final game of their six-game home stand by defeating Henrik Sedin and the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.
Much like the game before it, when the Lightning took on the New Jersey Devils, there was a lot of back and forth between the two teams, but for much of the first period, neither team was able to pull the trigger.
It wasn’t until the final minutes of the period that things would kick into high gear.
It would be Lightning captain Steven Stamkos who would capitalize on the Power Play to give the Bolts the lead heading into the first intermission. Picking up points for the assists would be Lighting left wing Ondrej Palat and right wing Ryan Callahan.
In the second period, the Lightning came out with a vengeance. In the first couple games of the home stand this would be the point in the game where everything would come apart. In this encounter, it would be their strongest point of contention.
First, it would be Palat who found the back of the net, picking up his second point of the night. The lone assist on the goal was credited to defenseman Matt Carle.
Then, in the closing seconds of the second period, it would be Lightning center Valtteri Filppula who would fire off a wrist shot past Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack with the assist from Stamkos, who picked up his second point of the night.
Unfortunately for the Bolts, the third period took a whole new direction. Where they normally falter in the second period, the Lightning began to come undone in the third. At 5:36 in the third, Bolts center Tom Pyatt found himself in the box for 2 minutes for goaltender interference. The Canucks would capitalize on their opportunity with a power play goal from right wing Alexandre Burrows.
Unfortunately, this is the point where Bolts fans found themselves screaming once again, and not from happiness.
Not four minutes later, the Canucks would strike again with another goal, a shorthanded one at that, from right wing Jannik Hansen with the assist from Burrows, who picked up his third point of the night.
Thankfully, the Bolts would be able to stop the bleeding and hold onto their one goal lead until the sound of the final buzzer, bringing home the much needed two points.
This was certainly not one of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop’s best games; however, his performance was enough to keep the Bolts in the game and bring home the two points. Bishop stopped 25 of 28 Shots on Goal for a Save Percentage of .893.
On the other side of the ice, there is Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack. Lack was able to stop 26 of 30 Shots on Goal brought against him for a Save Percentage of .867.
While this was definitely not the same complete game that we saw when the Bolts faced off with the New Jersey Devils, it was enough to get the job done.
The Bolts have a tough road ahead of them; a road that is full of must win games. The first of those is against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Bolts are just one point ahead of the Maple Leafs in the standings, so if the Lightning drop this game, they would fall behind; however, if they can take the game, they will further increase their lead giving the Bolts a small amount of breathing room.
What was your favorite part of the night? Do you think the Lightning have what it takes to bring home the two points against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Your Three Stars of the Game: