5 Takeaways from the Lightning’s OT Win over San Jose

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Lightning are going into the All-Star break riding a stretch of nine wins in their last 12 games. Tuesday night’s overtime win over the San Jose Sharks sends the Lightning into the break on a high note before they have the next eight days off from game action.

After routing San Jose 7-1 in the shark tank on January 22nd, the Lightning got a much better effort from the Sharks in this one. Each time the Lightning went ahead, San Jose came right back to answer. Tampa Bay came away with the extra point in this one thanks to Victor Hedman’s overtime winner.

Let’s breakdown what we took away from this one.

1. Hedman Takes Over

Victor Hedman was a monster once again in this one. He was involved in a number of offensive chances throughout and was teeing up dangerous shots from the blue line all night. He officially registered three shots on goal, with a number of his shot attempts also being deflected in front of the net.

Hedman nearly recorded the game winning goal late in the third period after his wrist shot rang off the cross bar. In the overtime, Hedman cut off a zone entry at the Lightning’s blue line to start the rush the other way. With Steven Stamkos driving to the net, Hedman was patient driving the middle of the ice and fired a wrister to the far side for the game winning goal. A well-deserved winner for the number of chances he was creating.

2. Catching a Break

An important moment in the game came in overtime after Ryan McDonagh tripped San Jose’s Timo Meier in the Lightning’s zone. It was a clear trip on McDonagh but evidently the referees also felt as though Meier sold the call and he also went to the box for embellishment. Instead of going down shorthanded in overtime, the play stayed 3-on-3 and Hedman’s winner came 39 seconds later.

3. Killorn on the Powerplay

For the second time in the last three games, Alex Killorn scored on the powerplay at the front of the net. While being the least likely player on Tampa Bay’s top powerplay to have a shot drawn up for him, Alex Killorn has been making a living cleaning things up in front of the net. In this one, Killorn gloved a loose puck out of the air and turned to throw it on goal for his third powerplay goal of the year.

4. It takes the Best to Beat Vasilevksiy

After Saturday’s disappointing performance in the shootout against Vegas, Andrei Vasilevskiy was much better despite not seeing a high number of shots in this one. Both of San Jose’s goals came off redirections in front of Vasilevskiy leaving nearly impossible saves for the All-Star netminder. That just shows how perfect or lucky you have to be sometimes if you want to beat him.

5. Lighter Schedule Upcoming

After the All-Star game this weekend, the Lightning have just three games in total over the next two weeks. Originally scheduled to be part of the NHL’s Olympic break, the time between All-Star weekend and the following two week-plus period will now serve as a time to make up games cancelled due to rising COVID cases. Tampa Bay was fortunate to only have three games postponed, so the next couple of weeks will be pretty light for the Lightning, with all three games coming on the road in Colorado, Arizona and New Jersey.