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Bedard, Blackhawks End Lightning Home Point Streak

The Tampa Bay Lightning make their return to Amalie Arena tonight following a 2-1-1 road trip. Their guests for the evening? First overall pick sensation Connor Bedard and his Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight marks the seventh home game of the season for the Bolts. They have earned at least a point in each one, sporting a sparkling 4-0-2 record. Would seven prove lucky for Tampa Bay tonight? Or would the Blackhawks foil their plans?

Bedard Makes his Mark

The Lightning started this one off well enough. They got an early power play and capitalized when Anthony Cirelli found the back of the net at 3:20.

The Bolts held that lead for a little over a minute before Connor Bedard made his mark. He beat goaltender Jonas Johansson to tie the game at 1-1.

The score stayed tied for about 8 minutes. Then, Tanner Jeannot found Nikita Kucherov in front of an open net. Kucherov, continuing his torrid pace, made no mistake slamming the puck home. Could the Bolts hold this lead for more than a minute?

In fact, they held it for just over 4 minutes. That’s when the wheels fell off. The Blackhawks tied it up at 16:43 and then took the lead just under a minute later. A familiar face to the Amalie faithful, Tyler Johnson, scored his 4th of the season from Connor Bedard and Nick Foligno. How would Chicago do holding a lead? Pretty well, apparently, as Connor Bedard added another goal with 8 seconds remaining in the period. Bedard’s 3-point first period gave his team a 4-2 lead at the first intermission.

The Lightning outshot the Blackhawks 14-10 in the period. But horrible defensive lapses plagued the boys in blue as they gave Chicago far too many glorious opportunities.

The Throwing of Hats

Bolts fans were hoping to see a motivated bunch of blue shirts take the ice to try to equalize things in the second. Instead, the Blackhawks kept up their attack. They got an early power play and scored their 5th of the game just 2:12 into the middle frame. A few hats came flying onto the ice as the Chicago fans in the crowd mistakenly believed Connor Bedard had completed the hat trick. As the hats were cleaned up, the announcer clarified for the confused fans that it had been former Bolt Corey Perry’s goal. Bedard did pick up an assist for his 4th point of the game.

Bolts Show No Fight

In the final three games of their recent road trip, the Lightning jumped out to big leads. Each time, their opponent fought back valiantly to make for exciting games and some heart-pounding moments. But, when the Blackhawks jumped out to their lead tonight, the Bolts showed no fight. They got some chances but never really looked hungry or dangerous.

They did manage one more goal with Johansson pulled for the extra attcker in the last five minutes. Steven Stamkos notched his 5th of the season to make the game look respectable at 5-3.

This truly was a game where nothing went well for the home team. The defense was atrocious, and Johansson really did not come up big when they needed him. The offense looked good early on but showed no real fight at all once they got down.

And so, the home point streak ends at six as the Lightning suffer their first regulation loss at Amalie this season an embarrassing 5-3 trouncing at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

3 Stars

1- Connor Bedard- 2 goals, 2 assists

2- Nick Foligno- 3 assists

3- Philipp Kurashev- 2 assists

Up Next

The Lightning will wrap up this mini two game homestand Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7pm.

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