It is never a fun thing to take a 4-1 beating by the hands of a division rival like the Boston Bruins. But despite the Bolts being outscored and brutally outshot 41-21, there was one shimmering star that was able to gleam through all the ugliness of this past Thursday’s matchup. That was the third star of the game: Louis Domingue.
More from Bolts by the Bay
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Maxim Groshev Stands Out at Rookie Showcase
- Tampa Bay Lightning Atlantic Division Preview: Boston Bruins
- Do the Tampa Bay Lightning provide Tyler Motte with career stability?
- Mikhail Sergachev hints a renewed vigor for the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Four training camp battles to watch with the Tampa Bay Lightning
It was Domingue’s 24th start of the season and resulted in his first loss out of his last 12. He was able to keep Boston scoreless through nearly half of the game, until his own teammate Anton Stralman accidentally redirected a Jake DeBrusk shot through the five hole. This was the only goal Domingue allowed through two periods, despite feeling the onslaught of 32 shots on net, compared to his team’s nine on Tuukka Rask.
The save of the night came at 3:12 into the third period, when Domingue flashed the leather on a point-blank shot by Joakim Nordstrom. It was a thing of beauty and just one of the many saves Domingue made in order to keep his team in the fight.
Of course, the wheels really came off when the Bruins put up three goals in 88 seconds in the back half of the third, with the last one causing Domingue to boil over and break his stick in half on the crossbar out of frustration. And who can blame him? This was a game where his team could not pick him up despite a marvelous performance in net.
Domingue’s role on this team has been and will continue to be the “backup netminder.” But what he has been able to do for the Lightning this season should not be overlooked.
Let’s look at his starts for this season. Shall we?
Out of Domingue’s 24 starts this year, seven of them have landed on the second night of back-to-back games for the Lightning. Of those seven games, all of them have been the third game for Tampa Bay in four days, just like last night’s. Oh, and one more fun fact, all of those seven games were on the road.
Sounds like some heavy lifting right? That’s because it is. Domingue’s record for those seven back-to-backs is 5-2.
Let’s not forget the stretch of games where Domingue assumed the No. 1 role in net, when Andrei Vasilevskiy suffered that broken left foot in November. Domingue started 14 out of 15 games from Nov. 13 through Dec. 10 (Edward Pasquale got the start and the win over Detroit on Dec. 4) and he went 11-3 over those four weeks.
It is easy for his play to be overshadowed by a Vezina-caliber starter and by the fact that this Lightning squad seems to continue to set NHL and franchise records night after night.
But with a record of 19-5 on the year and a save percentage of .908, Domingue has been there for the Bolts when they have needed him. And despite the vile result last night, Domingue’s play should be a sign that he will be there for this team should they need him the most: during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.