At this point in the Tampa Bay Lightning season, playing the right way is of greater importance than any individual result of a game. After their last three games, the Lightning have to be feeling pretty good about their game with three straight lopsided victories with the latest coming in Sunrise over the Panthers to snap their 13-game win streak.
The Lightning have now scored 22 goals in their last three games and allowed just seven. All three victories have come against playoff bound teams as the Lightning look to be rounding into form just in time.
Let’s get into this game.
1. Stammer’s Pursuit of 100
Steven Stamkos’ illustrious career is yet to boast a 100-point season. He had 99 in 2019-19. Stamkos has been on absolute tear of late. He has 17 points in his six games and recorded four in the 8-4 win over Florida. He now sits at 97 points on the season with three games left to go and will almost certainly reach the century mark.
2. The Nick Paul Show Continues
Nick Paul has impressed beyond belief in the beginning of his time in Tampa Bay. He already had a highlight reel assist this year and he scored one of the goals of the year Sunday night. Paul went between the legs to score a shorthanded goal off the feed from Brandon Hagel to give the Lightning a 4-3 lead for his first of two goals on the night. It seems as though the Lightning have unlocked a new level of his game since coming over from Ottawa and his importance to this team is going to continue to grow.
3. Powerplay is Getting Hot
The Lightning powerplay has underperformed relative to expectation for much of the season. But the powerplay seems to be getting hot just at the right time as well. Three goals Sunday night came on the man advantage, and they have now scored eight powerplay goals over the three-game win streak
4. Top Guys Being your Top Guys
In addition to the four-point night from Stamkos, a pair of other Lightning studs had big nights on the scoresheet as well. Nikita Kucherov had two goals and three assists and Victor Hedman had four assists. You need a deep team to win in the post season, but ultimately your best players have to be your best players and these guys seem to be getting their game to where it needs to be.
5. Beating the Top Teams
One of the talking points amidst the recent struggles for the Lightning has been how they have failed to win games against playoff teams. In this three-game win streak, all three wins have been against teams bound for the playoffs including the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning do not have much to prove in the regular season, but these are the teams they will have to go through if they are going to go for three straight.