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Another Win, Another Record Broken!
By: Jake Ricker
The Bolts had a record-breaking night and played a good game overall. Kucherov would set a new franchise record as the offense was in full swing. As for the Wings, they could not crack the Bolts defense and never got too much zone time. The Bolts would close this out by a score of 3-1 and pick up yet another win. Let’s take a look at how we got here period by period.
The Bolts got off to a little bit of a slow start as both teams didn’t get much set up in the early minutes. The Bolts quickly picked things up though as they got some consistent pressure in the offensive zone. The Bolts would strike first as Ryan McDonagh flicked one from the point that snuck right into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The Wings then put themselves in a worse position as Darren Helm was called for tripping. The Bolts power play didn’t last long as Stamkos was then called for a hook making it 4 on 4 hockey. Neither team would take advantage with the open ice and Helms penalty would come to an end. The Bolts quickly shut down the Wings short power play, and we were then back to full strength. Just a few minutes later Hedman rifled one from the right circle beating Bernier and it looked to be 2-0. However, the Goal was waved off, and after review, the puck had never crossed the line, so we had no goal. Kucherov made sure they got the two-goal lead as he blasted a puck home from the slot. With that goal, Kucherov broke the franchise record for points in a single season with 109. Hedman grabbed the puck and made sure it got back to the Lightning bench. The Bolts then continued to keep the pressure on Detroit as they put more and more shots on net. The Bolts continued to keep the puck in the offensive zone, but the Wings did a good job of fending them off as the shots remained 6-7 despite the zone time. Killorn would then be called for holding giving the Wings a late power play. Things then got a little chippy between Stamkos and Abdelkator so both would get 2 for roughing. The period would then come to a close with 34 seconds still left on the power play.
Goals: 2-0 Tampa Bay
The Wings started the second off on their short power play and looked to get to work quickly. The Bolts would successfully kill it off though and get back to full strength. The Bolts continued to pick up a few more chances but couldn’t get anything in the back of the net. Dekyser was then called for holding, and the Bolts would head to the power play. Kucherov had a few quality chances from the circle but just couldn’t put it in the back of the net and the penalty would expire. The Wings then got a chance on the power play of their own as Hedman was called for tripping. The Bolts easily killed this one off though as they shut down the Wings. It was right back to the penalty kill though as Joesph was called for high sticking. Domingue made a few great saves as the Bolts once again killed off the penalty. The Bolts got right back to work as they peppered Bernier with shots, but he turned them all away. The Bolts would head back to the penalty kill as Hedman got his second penalty of the night for tripping. The penalty would be seconds away from expiring, and Vanek would tip the puck home to get the Wings on the board. The period then quickly came to a close.
Goals: 2-1 Tampa Bay
Shots: 21-16 Tampa Bay
The Wings got off to a quick start, but the Bolts quickly shut it down and once again promptly took control. The Bolts then got a chance on the power play as Abdelkader was called for a slash. Gourde would get a tremendous opportunity right in front of the net but was somehow denied, and the penalty soon came to a close. The Bolts continued to keep up their good play as they made it difficult for the Wings to get out of their own zone. The Bolts then finally got through as Stamkos ripped one home for a 3-1 Bolts lead. The goal would be challenged though for offsides, and it would be determined that the puck was offsides. So Stamkos would have to wait to tie the all-time franchise goal record. The Bolts wanted their goal back, so they continued to play aggressively with shot after shot, but Bernier continued to keep the Bolts off the board. The Bolts kept on pushing despite all the saves, and they would finally crack Bernier once again. Kucherov sniped one right into the back of the net, and the Bolts lead it 3-1. The Wings would pull their goalie with 3 min to go looking for one last chance to tie this game. Mantha would get one on the board to bring the Wings within one, but it would be too little too late as the Bolts closed it out for their 52nd win.
Goals: 3-1 Tampa Bay
Shots: 33-24 Tampa Bay
- Nikita Kucherov (2G, 1 Franchise Record)
- Louis Domingue (22SV, 24SA)
- Jonathan Bernier (30SV, 30SA)
Up Next and Final Strike
The Bolts played a good game tonight with the penalty kill playing very well. The Bolts maintained zone time for most of this game, and it could have easily been a 6-1 game Bernier made some big saves. The Bolts played a full 60 min in this one as they never really let up. Domingue also performed well in this game despite facing a low amount of shots as he made some big saves. The biggest negative from this game was the penalty as they Bolts took way too many. Other than that the Bolts played well and will look to continue this as we inch closer to the postseason.
The Bolts will look to win their 2nd straight game as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, March 11th, at 7:00 PM.