5 Takeaways from Lightning vs. Blackhawks

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

The Tampa Bay Lightning have strung together a pair of some of their most complete hockey games of the entire season in their last two games on home ice. Tampa Bay dominated the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night on the first game of a back-to-back, defeating Tyler Johnson and the Blackhawks 5-2.

Let’s break down what we took away.

1. The Passing

The Lightning looked like the Harlem Globetrotters out there on multiple occasions in this game. They were snapping it around all night, especially in the offensive zone. Three of the five goals came on incredible passing sequences that lead to outstanding scoring opportunities. Even when they couldn’t score, the Lightning spent a ton of time in the offensive zone and were passing it around at will.

2. Big Night for Paul-Colton-Hagel Line

The combination of Nick Paul, Ross Colton and Brandon Hagel has needed a little time to get off the ground since their time together following the trade deadline. They had their best game by far together Friday night as they were responsible for three goals and collected six total points between them. Colton had a pair of goals, with the second coming on a highlight-reel between the legs pass by Paul. Paul had two assists and earned first star of the game honors.

3. Colton’s Quiet Production

Speaking of Ross Colton, he has quietly posted some impressive numbers recently. He has 10 points in his last 14 games and has three goals in his last three games. The offensive output was not exactly there for Colton while taking on an increased role this season. But in recent weeks, he has been a regular on the scoresheet, even as a bottom six forward.

4. Not Giving up Anything in the Third

After scoring the only two goals of the second period, the Lightning surrendered absolutely nothing while leading 4-2 in the third period. Chicago only managed to get three shots in the frame, much in part due to the Lightning spending much of the period in the offensive zone.

5. Points You Cannot Let Get Away

With both opponents on this back-to-back coming against a pair of the worst teams in the league this season, these are points the Lightning cannot squander. They made no mistake Friday against Chicago, but they will be tested Saturday by the Montreal Canadiens. Despite being the worst team in the league this season, you can guarantee Montreal will play their best hockey against the Lightning as Martin St. Louis makes his first stop in Tampa as the bench boss. Regardless, anything less than four points on this weekend would be a disappointment.

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