On Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the Arizona Coyotes just two days after their 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night. Tampa Bay went into the game with a 3-3-1 record, and Arizona came in with a 0-5-1 record.
The Lightning finished the game with yet another 5-1 victory, this time against the Arizona Coyotes. While the shots were even on both sides, the play by Tampa Bay was just overall better, and wasn’t mainly just trying to get shots on the net. Both teams had great plays, but Tampa Bay not only had more, but also was able to finish those plays off with the puck in the net.
With that being said, here are five things to take away from the Lightning’s 5-1 landslide victory over the Coyotes.
1. Back to normal
The Lightning started off the season on a bad note, not having a lead in regulation for over six games, the longest lead drought to start a season in NHL history. After the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings in what is already seen as a top game of the season, where they came back from a 6-3 deficit to win 7-6. Lightning fans started to notice the team’s offensive switch after that game, but there were still issues on both ends of the ice. The Tampa Bay Lightning went on to go down to 2-3-1 after losing to the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against their first opponent of the season yet again, and played an amazing game, where that only evolved in Thursday night’s victory over Arizona. The offense is looking as sharp as it did back in the 2020-21 season without Kucherov on the lineup, and fans are starting to see developments with the new players on the team, with Corey Perry finding his role on the power play with Stamkos and Point, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare using his shooting abilities to his advantage to help the fourth line make better pushes, and Andrej Sustr playing impressive defense, along with scoring a goal as well. Alex Barre-Boulet also shined, putting up his first goal of the season. The defense is also looking sharper every day, as the Lightning are now only allowing less than 30 shots a game.
2. Killer hits 350 points!
After breaking the Harvard Alumni all time leader in points against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Killorn extended his point total to 352 career points after Thursday’s game, putting up two quick goals in the first, and putting up an assist on the power play. Killorn is playing a fantastic game so far, putting up over a point per game, and helping the Lightning out tremendously in the offensive zone.
3. Less shots, less goals
The defense on Tampa Bay struggled to start the season, but over these last two games, fans are starting to see 2018-2021 defense come back to life, as the Lightning defense, led by Mikhail Sergachev in Thursday’s game, who played fantastic. Sergachev had a night to remember, keeping shots from the net, and making sure nobody can get through to Vasilevskiy. Without Sergachev and Hedman, the Lightning defense would struggle big.
4. Alex Barre-Boulet…WOW!
Alex Barre-Boulet, one of the Lightning’s top prospects, has played amazing ever since his return to the Lightning after being put on waivers and getting taken by the Kraken, who decided to let Barre-Boulet go on waivers and then returned to the Lightning. This deflection goal is one that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Not only did he have an amazing goal, but he also had a phenomenal game, making a case for himself to stay in the big leagues this season. Let’s hope he can continue his strong performance this entire season.
5. There’s a brick wall in net for Tampa
Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning’s starting goaltender, has played amazing over the course of the last few games, allowing only one goal on Tuesday night, and again only one goal on Thursday night. Whenever it seems like someone could score easily, somehow Vasilevskiy is still able to save it. Without him, the Lightning would be much worse, and could even miss the playoffs. Goaltending is very important, and could easily make or break a team’s success.
The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Washington Capitals on Monday, November 1st at 7pm EST/4pm PST