The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped their first home game in regulation on the season at the hands of Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Bedard posted the best game of his young career, notching four points on the way to a 5-3 win for Chicago.
The win for Chicago was their first against Tampa Bay since 2021 as the Blackhawks came in and seemed to take the Lightning by surprise early on.
Flipping the Script
After two straight games where the Lightning scored four goals in the opening period, they were on the opposite side of that feat Thursday. Chicago’s four goal outburst in the first period put the Lightning in an early hole.
Despite the Lightning scoring first and also leading 2-1 during the first period, Chicago scored three goals in about three minutes worth of game time to take a 4-2 lead into the first intermission. Bedard was all over the scoresheet with a pair of goals and an assist in the first period, the same sort of stat line we have been seeing from Nikita Kucherov in the first periods of late.
Crushed by Turnovers
Three of those four goals in the opening period for Chicago came directly off of turnovers by the Lightning. Those turnovers came from giving the puck away in the defensive zone and the neutral zone to set up chances for Chicago off the rush.
The biggest and most costly of those turnovers came in the dying seconds of the first period as a neural zone turnover led to a two-one-one that was finished off by Bedard on a really special play. Bedard’s goal came with seven seconds left in the first period and seemed to stun the Lightning.
Burned by Familiar Faces
The two beneficiaries of assists from Connor Bedard ended up being two familiar faces to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Corey Perry found the back of the net on the power play and Tyler Johnson added a goal as well in the first period.
The Lightning have come to be pretty familiar with getting scored on by former faces in recent years and Perry and Johnson are now the latest. Perry’s goal ultimately ended up being the one to of finally put this game out of reach as the Blackhawks extended their lead to 5-2 in the second. Perry’s power play goal came on a double minor penalty to Tanner Jeannot for high sticking and proved to be the back breaker in this one.