Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning Come Out Strong, Defeat the Ottawa Senators 5-4

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been on quite the tear lately. The Lightning came out strong, and held on until the end to defeat Jason Spezza and the Ottawa Senators by the score of 5-4.

This is the fifth game in a row that the Bolts have been victorious in. They have also picked up at least one point in their last seven games. If the Lightning continue to play like this, securing themselves a spot in the post season won’t be that difficult.

As I said before, the Lightning came out with a bang. It was only 23 seconds into the game when right wing Teddy Purcell fired off a slapshot to give the Bolts the early lead. The assists on the goal went to defenseman Victor Hedman and center Tyler Johnson.

It would take about 10 minutes before the Senators would be able to get that goal back, but they eventually did. Left wing Clarke MacArthur delivered a wrist shot that found its way past Bishop, shorthanded at that, tying things up for the Sens.

Thankfully, Teddy Purcell spent the first period on fire. Less than two minutes later, Purcell would come back with a wrist shot of his own putting the Bolts back on top. The assists would once again go to Hedman and Johnson.

At 13:04, Lightning center Nate Thompson would be called to the box for two minutes for tripping Sens right wing Ales Hemsky. Not but three seconds later, the Sens would capitalize on the power play and tie the game once again with a power play goal from defenseman Erik Karlsson.

When the buzzer sounded, the two teams would head back to their respective locker rooms all tied up.

When the two teams returned to the ice, the Lightning would return the favor so graciously bestowed upon them in the closing minutes of the first period. At 4:47 in the period, Sens right wing Bobby Ryan would find himself in the box for interfering with Bolts right wing Ryan Callahan. It would be Lightning center Valtteri Filppula who would capitalize on the opportunity for the Bolts, picking up his 23rd goal of the season.

The assists on the Filppula goal would go to left wing Ondrej Palat and defenseman Sami Salo.

This game would quickly turn into a back and forth battle. In the final three minutes of the second period, Hemsky would net a wrist shot with an assist from left wing Milan Michalek, tying the game up once again for the Sens.

Just like in the first period, when the buzzer sounded and the teams left the ice, they would be all tied up once again; this time 3-3.

Something amazing happened at 3:48 in the third period. Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer netted his very first goal of the season. In fact, this is Brewer’s first goal since February 24, 2013. Here’s to breaking habits.

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24)
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At 11:04, Senators center Zack Smith would find himself on the way to the box for two minutes for Slashing Ryan Callahan. In an ironic twist of events, it would be Callahan who would capitalize on the power play, giving the Bolts a two goal lead.

In the final three minutes of the game, the Senators would mount an offensive and attempt to get the game back under their control. At 17:08, Milan Michalek would pick up his second point of the night, this time with a goal, to make this a one-goal game.

Unfortunately for the Sens, this was just too little too late. The Tampa Bay Lightning would ultimately win 5-4.

This was a very important win for the Lightning. They are in a very tight race right now to preserve their position in the playoffs. The team will have to band together and treat every game for the remainder of the season. I fear this may mean that Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop won’t be seeing a break for the remainder of the season.

Can the goaltender hold it together and push his way through the remainder of the season just as he has all season long, or do you think that we will see backup goaltender Anders Lindback at some point during the course of the remaining 12 games? What do you think is going to be the key to the Lightning’s success moving forward? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Your Three Stars of the Night:

  1. Teddy Purcell
  2. Ales Hemsky
  3. Victor Hedman

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Tags: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Teddy Purcell Victor Hedman

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