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The Bolts Get Outplayed By Newly Acquired Rival, the Washington Capitals
By: Philip Wunderlich
As what seems to be forever since our last game the Bolts were finally back in action as they faced their newly acquired rival, the Washington Capitals. Let’s find out how the Bolts faired against the Caps as we break it down period by period.
Prior to the game the Bolts received the President’s trophy and Stamkos was given a silver stick for breaking Vinny Lecavalier’s goal record. The team should have been given so momentum from this right? WRONG! The Bolts could not generate a shot on goal for nearly the first ten minutes. Things were not going to get any better as Vasy got called for a trip. Luckily the Bolts killed this one off but shortly after the penalty expired it would be Backstrom that would get one past Vasilevskiy and the Caps would be up already. The Caps would not let up either as it would be Oshie getting the next goal giving the Caps a two goal lead. Not too long after Yanni Gourde would head to the box as he got called for a high sticking penalty which the Capitals would capitalize on as Oshie would get his second goal of the night. The period from Hell would finally end with a score of 3-0 Capitals. The shots would be in their favor as well as they would lead 13-5.
The Capitals again came out strong as Backstrom would get his second of the night early in this period. The Bolts would yet again be called for a penalty as this time it would be Coburn heading off for a boarding call. Luckily the Bolts would kill this one off as well. The chippy play would continue however as it would be Wilson’s stick finding Kucherov’s face leading to the Bolts first power play. Hedman apparently shortly before the penalty however would collide with Hagelin as he would head off the ice and head into the locker room. And of course without the big defender this power play came up flat. Miller would be the first player to get on the board for the Bolts however the Caps would still lead 4-1 going into the third. The Caps once again would be leading in the shot category as well 15-9.
After Miller finally got the Bolts first goal of the night the Bolts seemed to gather a little momentum as they were buzzing for most of this period. However the Bolts again would find themselves in penalty trouble as Sergachev would be called for a high stick. The Bolts would kill off the penalty and shortly after would find the back of the net yet again as Tyler Johnson would score. This period was probably the most aggressive as Orpik would square off against Cirelli and Cernak would finally get into the fight of the season as he squared off against Wilson. Wilson however would get the better of Cernak as he would head into the locker room for the rest of the night. Ovechkin apparently would feed off the energy as he would record his 50th and 51st goals of the season. The second goal however seemed to be no good as Backstrom brushed up against Vasy but apparently Toronto had other plans as the goal would indeed stand. The Bolts would finally get a power play of their own however as Dowd would find his way over to the box. Kucherov would take advantage of this one as he too would find the back of the net. Unfortunately for the Bolts and us fans the Lightning would fall 6-3 despite finally leading in shots for a period as they led 14-7.
Final Strike and What’s Next?
The Lightning need to start waking up earlier into the game. They started playing in the second and unfortunately the Caps never let up. The Lightning also need to stop taking so many penalties. Also hopefully the injury to Hedman isn’t too serious. Especially since with the injuries to Cernak and Hedman tonight and the current injuries to Girardi and Stralman really leaves us with a depleted blue line…hopefully though everybody will be healthy and ready to go when it matters most. The Bolts will look to re-gather themselves as they look to face the Senators on Monday night.