Tampa Bay Lightning Win 2nd Straight Game With Victory Over St. Louis Blues
The Tampa Bay Lightning pick up wins in back-to-back games for the first time since November 19th as they defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came into tonight’s contest even more wounded than they were before. In addition to the four Lightning forwards on the Lightning’s injured list, the Lightning lost netminder Ben Bishop early in the first period on Tuesday night in the Lightning’s 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
As the Lightning prepared to take on the St. Louis Blues in game one of the Lightning’s back-to-back series, the Bolts were hit with some more bad news. The Lightning would be forced to take the ice without the assistance of Lightning forwards Cedric Paquette and Vladislav Namestnikov.
The Bolts were faced with a tough challenge tonight, but if the Lightning had any hopes of finishing off their homestand on the same high note the began it on, they would have to find a way to overcome the adversity put before them and build on the chemistry they have found as of late.
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Unfortunately, the first period of play didn’t exactly go as one would’ve planned. Things started off just like any other game. There was a lot of back and forth between the Bolts and the Blues, but through the halfway point in the period, neither side was able to make their way to the back of the net.
Of course, this wasn’t for a lack of effort. Both teams would bring the offense to their opponents, but Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy and Blues netminder Jake Allen would turn away all comers. Unfortunately for the Bolts, it wouldn’t be long before someone broke the ice and got things started.
Around the 14 minute mark in the first period, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point would play the puck in the Lightning’s defensive zone. Unfortunately, as quickly as he brought the puck into the zone, he would turn the puck over to Blues forward David Perron, who wasted no time in getting the puck past Vasilevskiy.
Just when Lightning fans thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, well…they did. A mere 32 seconds later, the Blues would pick up yet another goal with a rebound goal from Blue rookie forward Wade Megan. This would serve as Megan’s first career NHL goal.
When the buzzer would sound to end the first period, the Tampa Bay Lightning outshot the St. Louis Blues 12-10, but the Blues would lead on the scoresheet 2-0. At the end of the period, it was the simplest of mistakes that seemed to sink the Lightning. If they wanted to bring home the two points, things would have to change in the second.
Thankfully, change is exactly what the Tampa Bay Lightning brought about in the second period of play. Things kicked into action just before the halfway point in the second period when Brian Boyle, who has one of the hottest sticks on the team as of late, would deflect the puck past Allen for his eighth goal of the season.
With less than three minutes left in the period, it would be another deflection that would tie things up for the Tampa Bay Lightning. This time, the puck went off the stick of Lightning forward Michael Bournival, who had just been called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier today.
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Bournival’s goal in the second period was his first of the season. Michael Bournival made his season debut with the Lightning this season on December 1st against the very same St. Louis Blues. The assists on Bournival’s goal would be awarded to Jason Garrison and J.T. Brown.
When the buzzer would sound to end the second period of play, the Tampa Bay Lightning would once again outshoot the St. Louis Blues; this time by the ratio of nine to four for a two-period total of 21-14. The difference between this period and the first is these two teams were now tied at two goals apiece.
The Lightning team we saw in the second period is the same team that dominated the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night in the Sunshine State. This, right here, is the team the Lightning need to be in the third period if they wanted to close the door on this homestand on a high note
It seems as if the Tampa Bay Lightning took that sentiment to heart when they hit the ice for the third period of play. Just 5:25 into the third period, the Lightning would strike with a goal from Alex Killorn. Killorn’s goal wasn’t exactly one of those “SportsCenter” kind of goals, but it takes skill to put the puck in the back of the net through that kind of traffic.
Surprisingly enough, this was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s offense in the third period. The remainder of the third period was all about Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin.
It all started with a beautiful pairing from Valtteri Filppula and Jonathan Drouin. Filppula raced towards the net with the puck, halting forward motion for just long enough to lose his defenseman. A few more strides and Filppula would execute a nearly no-look pass to Jonathan Drouin, who would beat Jake Allen and put the puck in the back of the net to extend the Lightning’s lead over the Blues to two.
Just over a minute later, Drouin would strike once again with an empty net goal. While it was “just an empty-netter,” it was certainly one of the prettiest empty net goals we have ever seen.
Drouin raced for the puck, blowing away Blues defenseman Brad Hunt and making his way to the net. Some fancy stick handling and the puck was in the back of the net and the Lightning were up 5-2 over the Blues with just 31 seconds left in the game.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Tampa Bay Lightning would emerge victoriously, having defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2. This is the first time the Lightning have won back-to-back games since November 19th when the Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have made great strides in the face of adversity; however, there is still plenty of work to be done. Tomorrow, the Lightning continue their journey as they make their way to the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Capitals for the second time this season.
The Bolts came out on top in their first meeting with the Capitals this season with a 2-1 shootout victory on December 3rd at the Amalie Arena. Tomorrow will be the Lightning’s first trip to the Verizon Center this season. Hopefully, the Lightning will be able to keep momentum on their side and bring home yet another victory.
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