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Bolts Sneak By the Isles in the Shootout
By: Jake Ricker
This was a back and forth game with both netminders not letting anything through. Vasy made some stupendous saves and kept the Bolts in this game. The Bolts PK also played well going a perfect 4 for 4. As for the Islanders, Greiss also made some top-notch saves keeping them in this game as well. This one would have to be decided in the shootout though as neither team could find the back of the net. The Bolts would then finally win it by a score of 1-0, let’s take a look at how we got here period by period.
The Bolts got off to a much better start this time around as they kept the pressure in the opposing zone. The Bolts would then pick up the first scoring chance of the night as they broke out on a 2 on 1. Point decided to take it himself as he toe-dragged it to the slot and got 2 shots off, but both were denied by Greiss. The Bolts continued to get opportunities as Stamkos got one to Gourde who went five whole right in front of the net but just couldn’t get it home. The Islanders then responded with a massive chance in front as they got a shot on Vasy and the puck side to his right where they unleashed another shot, but Vasy flew across to make the stop. Both teams continued to go back and forth looking to try and take ahold of this game. Both sides were playing very disciplined as we passed the 14:00 mark without a penalty. That would soon change though as Boychuck was called for tripping and the Bolts would have the first power play for the night. The Bolts got a few chances early, but then a scrum broke out at the Islanders bench. After the dust had settled, Kucherov would get 2 for tripping. The Bolts would kill it off though, and we would get back to 5 on 5. The Islanders would pick up a few more chances as time winded down but the horn would soon sound, and we would head to intermission.
Shots: 14-11 Tampa Bay
The start of the second didn’t change much from the first as once again both teams went back and forth looking for an opportunity to jump out in front. The Bolts would have to head to the penalty kill though as Paquette launched the puck up over the boards and would get 2 for delay of game. The Bolts PK unit would do a great job and kill this one off with relative ease. Both sides continued to go back and forth as neither team could take control of this game. The Bolts would then head back to the penalty kill though as Hedman was called for hooking. The Bolts would once again take care of business as they killed it off. The Islanders kept pushing though as former Bolt Filppula got the puck and sent one on net, but Vasy stretched all the way across and made a huge save to keep it scoreless! The Islanders seemed to have more control of the game in the second half of this period as they picked up a few more shots on net, but Vasy was locked in. Joseph then got a chance for the Bolts as he spun around in front of the net, but Greiss was also on fire and made the save. With time winding down both teams looked for one more chance to take the lead, but the horn would sound, and we would head to the final 20 still tied at 0.
Shots: 22-15 Tampa Bay
The Bolts got off to a quick start as they took some shots on net, but Greiss showed no signs of slowing down. The Bolts then got their best chance of the game as they burst into the zone and spread out. Johnson then put the puck in front, and point nearly slipped past Griess, but he lost control of the puck. Both teams then picked up the pace as they got some high-quality chances end to end. Both sides played with poise in the first half of the period as once again neither team took a penalty. It was a goaltenders duel, and it did not look like anything was gonna stop these two netminders. With time winding down someone needed to break the ice or we would have to decide things in overtime. It seemed no one could get ahold of the puck and one shot would decide this game. The horn would soon sound and this tight game would have to be decided in overtime!
Shots: 40-32 Tampa Bay
The Bolts got the first chances in OT as they took two quick shots, but both missed the net wide right. The Islanders then quickly responded as they got a few shots of their own but were blocked out in front. Both teams continued to go back in forth in this fast pace over time. The Bolts would have to then head to the penalty kill though as Kuch was called for a cross-check. With the ensuing 4 on 3, the Islanders had the Bolts moving, but the Bolts kept them off the board. The Islanders had one last chance as time winded down but Girardi made a huge block, and the buzzer would sound.
Shots: 41-36 Tampa Bay
Bailey- SAVE! BOLTS WIN! BOLTS WIN!
- Andrei Vasilevskiy (36 SV, 0GA)
- Thomas Greiss (41SV, 1GA)
- Victor Hedman (1G, Shootout)
Up Next and Final Strike
This was a tightly contested game as both netminders were locked down. The penalty kill was stellar going 4 for 4 on the night. Vasy was once again fantastic as he is now 9-0 after a loss. They also stayed pretty disciplined keeping them away from the box which gave the Islanders fewer chances. The one negative is the Bolts offense could not get much going on offense. However, the Bolts got over 40 shots, so it’s not too much of a concern. Overall this was a good game by the Bolts and will look to build upon it.
The Bolts will look to start a win streak as they take on the New York Rangers on Saturday, February 1st, at 8:00 Pm.