The Tampa Bay Lightning’s season long losing streak has been halted at three games. The Lightning defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 Sunday night to split the back-to-back after falling 4-1 in Edmonton the night before. On the season, Tampa Bay is now 7-0-1 on the second game of back-to-back’s
Tampa Bay’s longest road trip of the season has not been kind to them yet, but they have just one more stop to go before heading back home. With their recent struggles, Sunday’s win has to feel good after being ready from the start in this one against a surging Vancouver team.
Let’s break down how it happened.
1. Finally, a Good Start
We have heard plenty about the poor starts in recent games for Tampa Bay. The Lightning did not hold a lead at any point along their three-game losing streak and have not scored first in any of the first four games of this trip. They took care of both in this one as the Lightning were all over Vancouver early in this one. Both Tampa Bay goals came before the six-minute mark of the game thanks to Victor Hedman and Ross Colton as the Lightning took advantage of the good start for the early lead.
2. Throwing the Lines in a Blender
When a team struggles like Tampa Bay has of late, sometimes you just have to change things up. Jon Cooper has never shied away from juggling the lines and it paid off for Tampa Bay in this one, especially early on. The best example of the benefits of this came on Colton’s goal in the first period. Corey Perry fed Colton for the goal despite these two never really playing together this season.
3. Vasilevskiy Wins the Goaltending Duel
Andrei Vasilevskiy got back in the win column Sunday night after a few un-Vasilevskiy like numbers in his recent outings. Thatcher Demko was outstanding as well for Vancouver and kept the Canucks in the game especially early on when the Lightning could have run them out of the building. Vasilevskiy was the star of the show late as he would go on to make 35 saves on 36 shots in the victory.
4. Locking it Down Late
Former Lightning forward, J.T. Miller cut the deficit in half for the Canucks early in the third period and Vancouver continued to push. In the late minutes of the game, Tampa Bay knew how to close it down. This was a playoff type finish to a game as Vancouver had their chances but were not helped out a bit by Tampa Bay. Vasilevskiy of course, had a lot to do with that.
5. Winning a One Goal Game
This was the first one goal game for the Lightning since their Stadium Series victory in Nashville just over two weeks ago. Their losses and even the wins they have had have been somewhat lopsided. As mentioned above, these are the types of wins you need in the playoffs and the Lightning have more than proven they are capable of playing that type of game.