The Tampa Bay Lightning (25-24-7) are back from their bye week and ready to continue their desperate climb to playoff contention. Tonight they face the Dallas Stars (22-27-10) who are also in great need of points. These two clubs collided and here’s how it unfolded.
First Period: The puck was dropped and we had lift off in Dallas. The Lightning came out and continued to play well and it paid off with a Victor Hedman goal just 3:07 into the first period. This goal was the product of a Jake Dotchin point shot that greeted Hedman with a voluptuous rebound. Shortly after, the Lightning would receive a power play opportunity. Tyler Johnson, who had been on the shelf for the last two games with an injury, found pay dirt as he was fed by Brayden Point and zipped a backhander over Dallas’ goaltender Kari Lehtonen to make it 2-0 halfway through the period. The fireworks would not stop there, as it was the Stars’ time to provide some offense. With a little over eight minutes left in the first, Dallas forward Antoine Roussel chipped an airborne puck into the Tampa Bay net and brought his time within one. Roussel was not done and scored again minutes later to give us a tie game to end out the first.
Second Period: The Lightning came out with an added intensity as the Filppula, Boyle, and Palat scrambled in the Stars’ zone and almost came away with the lead. From there, both teams would dictate play throughout the second, but it would be another power play opportunity that led to the Lightning’s third goal of the night. Tampa Bay kept play in Dallas’ zone for a lengthy duration of time and a Hedman wrist shot finally found the back of the Stars’ net to make the game 3-1 midway through the second. The balancing act continued and with some big saves by both goaltenders the score would remain 2-1 going into the third.
Third Period: Tampa Bay dominated play to start the final twenty minutes, but it was Dallas’ Roussel who would come away with the result as he scored 4:40 into the third to obtain his first career hat trick and once again tie the game. In the blink of an eye, it was anyone’s game and with two big points hanging in the balance. The Lightning pushed and the Stars pulled, but in the end, neither team could come away with the clincher and this one would be settled in overtime.
Overtime: The Lightning handled the three on three superbly, but Dallas’ Jamie Benn lined up and scored the game winner for the Stars in the final minute. Frustrated with just gaining a point in the standings, Tampa Bay trudged to the locker room to set their mind on tomorrow night in Colorado.
Three Stars of The Game:
- Antoine Roussel, hat trick
- Victor Hedman, 2 goals and assist
- Tyler Johnson, goal and assist
Next up: Tampa Bay Lightning (25-24-8) vs. Colorado Avalanche (16-38-2) tomorrow night at 8pm in Denver, Colorado.
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