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Blues hand Lightning only second back to back loss of season

Micheal Raper | Scrum Sports Writer

In a shocking turn of events, the Tampa Bay Lightning went the opposite of most NHL teams. Instead of unveiling their third jersey to the masses on social media, the Lightning decided to do it a little under the radar.

TAMPA, FL – Tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled their new third jersey to some mixed fan-fare from the fans. Most people on social media liked the jerseys, some weren’t sure. These jerseys leaked a few months back to most people unsure of the look, but once you see them in person they are quite sharp. They Lightning have had one other black third jersey that debuted in 2014-2015. They only used them through the 2016-2017 season before the NHL added Adidas as the official jersey and temporarily ditching the third jersey league wide.

The team welcomed in the St Louis Blues who come in to Amalie Arena having won their last three games. Ryan O’Reilly is the top scorer for the Blues with 53 points entering tonight’s game. The Bolts have three guys with more points then the Blues top player (Nikita Kucherov – 81, Brayden Point – 66 and Steven Stamkos – 61). Tampa has won two straight at home against the Blues heading into tonight’s game.

The Big Cat was perfect against Blues

In three career starts against the Blues, Andrei Vasilevskiy is 3-0-0. In those three games he has only allowed seven goals on 109 shots for a .966 save percentage. In their last game on December 12, 2017 in St Louis, that game completed the season sweep for the Lightning. Vasilevskiy stopped all 32 shots he faced while Kucherov, Point and Tyler Johnson provided the scoring. In his two games last season Vasilevskiy only allowed one goal by the Blues. Tonight through three periods it appeared as though that record would stay perfect, but Blues goalie Jordan Binnington had other ideas, but not before Vasilevskiy made some highlight reel saves once again.

Binnington had an amazing 1.88 goals through 11 games played, along with a 7-1-1 record. The lone goal of the game would come in overtime. Brayden Schenn would nearly get a breakaway if not for a speeding Kucherov. With a slight shot on Vasilevskiy, the puck would trickle into the net giving the Blues four wins in a row. This is only the second time all season the Lightning have lost back to back games, and the first time following a loss that Vasilevskiy didn’t get a win.

Being out-shot isn’t so bad… apparently

So far this season it feels like the Lightning have been out-shot more than they have out-shot their opponents. When you have a goaltender duo like Vasilevskiy and Louis Domingue, you can have that luxury sometimes. Most times when being out-shot in the NHL you won’t typically see a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay however wins more than any other team in the NHL when being out-shot. This season the Lightning own a .846 win percentage when being out-shot (21-3-2). Through three periods the Blues held the advantage 38-30.

Has the scoring dried up?

After leading the NHL with a 4.00 goals per game average for most of the season, the Lightning’s scoring has had it struggles recently at time. Heading into tonight’s game that number had dropped to 3.83, and the depth scoring hasn’t really been seen. Tonight the Bolts were shutout for the first time all season. There was no way the Bolts could be as hot as they have been all season, there had to be a lul at some point. At this point the Lightning just need to get back to how they were playing in December.

Up Next

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will come in to Amalie on Saturday night February 9th. The last time these teams faced off, the Penguins won 4-2 in Pittsburgh on January 30th.

Three Stars of the Game

3rd Star – Andrei Vasilevskiy – Made 38 saves on 39 shots.

2nd Star – Brayden Schenn: Scored the lone goal of the game in OT

1st Star – Jordan Binnington: Stopped all 32 shots he faced to improve to 8-1-1

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