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Amalie Again Proves to be Sweet Home as Bolts Win 6-4

Photo: Alex Walworth, The Scrum Sports

Sweet home Amalie… or is it? The Tampa Bay Lightning started off this season with points in their first six home games. But their recent two-game home stint proved to be a disaster as they suffered an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Blackhawks followed by a shutout at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes. The boys then took their show on the road for two games. They lost the first one in St. Louis and beat the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday night. Would they return to their winning home form today? Or is home sweet home just not as sweet for the boys in blue these days?

The Basement Dwellers Put on a Show

The Lightning’s opponent tonight was one of the teams holding down the bottom of the Western Conference. The Edmonton Oilers came into tonight’s game in second last place in the conference with a record of 5-9-1. However, they come into this game on 3 game winning streak, including the only two since their former coach Jay Woodcroft got fired a week ago.

The Oilers looked anything but basement dwellers in the opening frame as they poured the pressure on against the Bolts. The Lightning got the game’s first power play just three and a half minutes into the game. A turnover in the offensive zone led the Bolts’ kryptonite from last season- the shorthanded goal. It was a weak goal for Johansson to allow but nonetheless the Oilers had the game’s first goal and a 1-0 lead. And they did not stop there. They applied relentless pressure and were rewarded five minutes later as James Hamblin scored his first of the season to put his team up 2-0.

The Power Play Exchange

About half-way through the first period, the two teams began exchanging power play chances. First, Edmonton got an opportunity, then Tampa Bay, then Edmonton again, then Tampa Bay again. On that final one of the period, the Bolts managed to capitalize as Nikita Kucherov scored his 12th of the season when his shot ricocheted in off the leg of Mattias Ekholm.

The Oilers got yet another power play to start the second period. The Lightning killed that one off and the power plays stopped for a while. Just before the 13 minute mark of the second period, the Bolts tied it up as Kucherov and Brayden Point went in on a two on one. Kucherov carried it in and took the shot himself as he found an opening on netminder Skinner.

All that time to tie it up and within three minutes, the Oilers had the lead back again. Derek Ryan netted his second of the game and season to put Edmonton up 3-2.

Through two periods, the Edmonton Oilers dominated the shot clock by a count of 28-14.

History Repeats Itself

The Bolts started the third period just as they started the second. Trailing by one. Once again, they fought back to tie it up. Tanner Jeannot drilled home a beautiful pass from Mikey Eyssimont to knot things up at 3-3 at 3:54.

This time, the score stayed tied for just over four minutes! Then, Evan Bouchard fired the puck and beat Johansson cleanly. Another soft goal and the Oilers led once again at 4-3.

But the Lightning persisted. Steven Stamkos knotted things up yet again with his 6th of the season from Point and Kucherov during an abbreviated Lightning power play.

How long would this tie last? Apparently, not very long! But this time, it was the Lightning that broke the tie from a rather unlikely source! Luke Glendening scored his second of the season on a nice feed from the newly called up Cole Koepke to put the Bolts up 5-4 just 39 seconds later.

And then the Lightning did what the Oilers had been unable to do. They held onto the lead.

With under a minute remaining and the Edmonton net empty, Mikhail Sergachev fired the puck down the ice- and right into the empty net to seal the victory for the Bolts with a 6-4 final.

Three Stars

1- Nikita Kucherov (Lightning)- 2 goals, 1 assist

2- Derek Ryan (Oilers)- 2 goals

3- Mikhail Sergachev (Lightning)- 1 goal, 2 assists

Honorable mention to the Lightning PK that totally shut down an elite Edmonton power play unit.

Up Next

The Lightning take on division rival Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena on Monday, November 20th at 7pm.



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