The Tampa Bay Lightning concluded their 2 game foray into Canada with a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Coming off an OT loss to Toronto on Thursday, the Lightning bounced back to take a win in Ottawa and end their road trip with 3 of 4 possible points.
The game had been back-and-forth before three unanswered goals in the third period from the Bolts would put the game out of reach for the Senators.
1. Hedman Atones for Thursday’s Mistakes
Hedman rebounded early in the game after having a disastrous finish in the loss to Toronto. He got the Bolts on the board first in the game on the powerplay with his first goal of the season and paced the team in shots on goal with 7. This was exactly the type of bounce back performance the Lightning would have hoped from their star defenseman as he was clearly their best defenseman on the ice today.
2. Line Blender Again
Jon Cooper has never been one to shy away from changing up the forward lines when the pucks are not reaching the back of the net, and today saw another iteration of the line blender at work after the offense was absent outside of the first period against the Leafs. The offense played a more complete game today generating opportunities throughout and netting 4 goals before an empty netter for the 5th goal sealed the game.
3. Palat Finds His Game
Palat has struggled to contribute offensively since Nikita Kucherov went down with an injury in the third game of the season, but tonight he found himself leading the way offensively with a goal and 2 assists. After being paired with Steven Stamkos in recent games, Cooper’s line blender had him right back on the top line with Point and Cirelli. Palat’s efforts late in the third period – a goal and an assist – ensured that today’s game would go down in the win column for the Bolts.
4. Replacing Sergachev
With Sergachev suspended for 2 games for his hit on Toronto’s Mitchell Marner Thursday night, the Lightning responded with increasing the ice-time of Jan Rutta and Cal Foote and recalling Fredrik Claesson from Syracuse to serve as the team’s 6th defenseman.
Rutta lead the way with 17:31 of ice-time, followed by Foote with 12:26, and Claesson with 8:30. While the three handled their increased workloads well enough to win the game today, they will all need to be on top of their games come Tuesday’s matchup with the Hurricanes.
5. Brian Elliott Should Be Okay
With a matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes on the horizon, Jon Cooper elected to rest Vasy and give Brian Elliott his second start of the season. Elliott looked decent enough in net, only surrendering 2 goals before Ottawa found the back of the net for a 3rd goal in the dying seconds of the game on a wild redirect. In Elliott’s defense on the first 2 goals, the defense had major breakdown’s in front of him on both occasions. The Lightning will hope Elliott can consistently be a steady force in net this season after Curtis McElhinney was often unable to keep things under control last season.
The Lightning faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night at 7pm EST.