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The Captain Caps Off A Career Day With the Shootout Winner, Lightning Win Scoring Bonanza 7-6
By Tyler Santana
The Bolts looked to start their homestand off right as they hosted the Flyers. It didn’t get off on the right foot as the Lightning were looking at a 3-1 deficit after the 1st period. The Bolts were able to tie it up in the second at 3-3, but then the Flyers scored and took a 4-3 lead into the 3rd period. The Lightning gave up an early 3rd period goal, but they stormed back to take a 6-5 lead. The flyers would tie it, forcing OT. Despite the Flyers getting an OT poweplay, the Lightning PK and Andrei Vasilevskiy stood tall, and the Bolts were able to win 2-0 in the shootout for a 7-6 victory.
Neither team generated any dangerous shots for the first 4 minutes despite decent offensive zone time for both teams. The Flyers got the first Powerplay as Andrei Vasilevskiy was called for a trip, and Nolan Patrick. The Bolts would get their own powerplay on a Claude Giroux, and the Lightning would respond with a marker from the Captain Steven Stamkos. That powerplay goal brought Stamkos within one of Patrik Laine for the league lead in powerplay goals. The teams traded some possession, a few shots, and some pushing and shoving, for a good time after the Captain’s powerplay marker. Jakub Voracek would break the tie with 5:30 remaining in the first, putting his own rebound in as he was wide open in front of Vasilevskiy. The Flyers would get another powerplay, and while the Bolts did kill it off, the Flyer scored right after as Robert Hagg ripped one past Vasilevskiy to make it 3-1. Andrew MacDonald hit Yanni Gourde after a whistle, so Gourde took matters into his own fists, putting a pretty good smackdown on MacDonald. This lead to a 4 on 4 which would carry over into the 2nd.
Shots 14-6 Flyers
Score 3-1 Flyers
The Bolts took a slashing penalty right after the 4 on 4 ended, but it may have been a goal saver as Brayden Point broke the Flyers player’s stick, breaking up an easy tap in. The Bolts were able to kill it off and seemed to pick up some momentum from it. 5:57 into the second, Victor Hedman fired a puck off Valteri Filppula and in to make it a one goal game. The Lightning goal seemed to calm some nerves, and the Lightning looked more comfortable from there. Then 12:47 into the 2nd, Dan “The Man” Girardi bombed a shot from the point past Petr Mrazek to tie the game at 3-3. Kucherov took a bad retaliatory penalty behind the play, but Hagg slipped a weak one through Vasilevskiy to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead. The Bolts got some pressure but nothing to show for it as they headed into the 3rd period trailing 4-3.
Shots 25-16 Flyers
Score 4-3 Flyers
The 3rd period started less than ideal, as Ivan Provorov put him a goal to make it a 5-3 game. Then the Bolts offense exploded, as J.T. Miller scored his first as a Bolt to make it a 1 goal game. Then after a successful PK, The Captain buried a beautiful 2 on 1 pass from Kucherov to tie the game at 5. After a phenomenal Vasilevskiy save, Victor Hedman buried a one timer from Stamkos to give the Bolts a 6-5 lead. The assist gave the Bolts captain 5 points on the night, a new career high. The Bolts then had a shift where they peppered the goalie Mrazek, but a little bad luck kept them off the board. They were playing fantastic offensive hockey though and had the Flyers looking helpless. The Flyers kept up the pressure though, and Claude Giroux made it a 6-6 game with a tap in. The game would close regulation tied, meaning a club record 5th straight OT game for the Bolts.
Shots 39-31 Flyers
Vasilevskiy made two fantastic saves, and Kucherov was called for a hook. Vasilevskiy made a great save during the PK on Shayne Gostisbehere. The PK did a great job clogging shooting lanes, with a special shout out to Ryan Callahan for using his body as a shield to knock down a lot of Flyers shots. The PK did its job to kill the penalty, and the Bolts got a few looks after the penalty expired, but no one could put one home, and this game would need a shootout.
Shots 43-35 Flyers
Point=Dangle and Score
AND THE LIGHTNING WIN IT 7-6 IN A SHOOTOUT
1ST Star: Steven Stamkos (2G,3A, Shootout winner)
2nd Star: Victor Hedman (2G,2A)
3rd Star: Nikita Kucherov (3A)
The Bolts host the Panthers Tuesday March 6th with a 7:30 puck drop.