The Tampa Bay Lightning welcomed Yanni Gourde and the Seattle Kraken to Tampa for the first meeting against the league’s newest franchise on Friday night. Tampa Bay dominated play throughout, scoring a goal in each period, to earn a shutout victory.
The loss kept Seattle from extending the franchises’ longest winning streak to three games. Tampa Bay’s win was the third in a row to conclude their four-game stand before heading out for two games on the road in Minnesota and St. Louis.
Let’s break down what we took from this one.
1. The Firsts Continue
During Tuesday night’s win over Philadelphia, Zach Bogosian and Corey Perry both scored their first goals in a Lightning uniform. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got his first in Tampa with his goal in the opening period on Friday night. Bellemare picked the top corner on the rush with a quick shot assisted by Perry. Bellemare’s goal would go on to be the game winner.
2. Kid Line Connects
For the first time since they were assembled, the line of Boris Katchouk, Ross Colton, and Taylor Raddysh finally had a goal to show for their work. The trio has been very effective recently but have not had luck with finding the back of the net. They earned the start in Friday’s game and were affective once again. Colton was the beneficiary of a fortunate bounce in front and buried the loose puck to make it 2-0 just 31 seconds into the second period.
3. Another Shut Out
Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his second straight shutout on Friday night against the Kraken. The Lightning did a great job of limiting Seattle’s chances and Vasilevskiy was only forced to make 17 saves. Very few of the shots he faced were dangerous, but Vasilevskiy was ready for all of them as he cruised to another shutout in what was his 200th career victory.
4. Stammer Stays Hot
The captain earned his 11th goal of the season to eliminate any thought of a Seattle comeback in the third period. Stamkos now has 23 points in 19 games on the season in what has been a rejuvenating season. After having a healthy offseason, Stamkos has been looking as good as ever with his skating. Stammer is on pace for another 45-goal season and an additional impressive component of his start to the season has been that just four of his 11 goals have come on the powerplay. He is not just a powerplay specialist, but his one-timer alone should land him in serious conversation for team Canada for the Olympics.
5. Gourde’s Return
Yanni Gourde came back to play at Amalie Arena for the first time since lifting the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in July. Gourde was finally presented with his Stanley Cup ring in addition to receiving a rousing ovation from the home crowd following a video tribute. A fan favorite in Tampa, Gourde received one of the louder ovations I can remember for a returning player. It was a tough night for Gourde however as he was minus-two on the bittersweet night.