Coming off of a tough shootout-loss in Minnesota, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to push their point streak to four-games as they traveled to Winnipeg to take on the Jets (25-29-4) in a game some might say was a must-win. With Ben Bishop in net, the team pulled through on the strength of his 32 saves, beating the Jets in dominating fashion by a 4-1 score despite being out-shot 33-30.
Tampa Bay came out strong early, going up 2-0 in the first. Jonathan Drouin assisted Brayden Point for the first goal of the game, and what an assist it was. Drouin fought off defenders, shook off defenders, and gave Point the perfect pass in front of the net to put the Lightning up 1-0.
Jo is a FORCE to be reckoned with. #TBLvsWPG pic.twitter.com/10Fs9W52DD
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 12, 2017
The second first-period goal was off a deflection by Brian Boyle, his 13th goal of the season. Victor Hedman took a shot just inside the blue line as it went off of Boyle, deflecting in to put Tampa Bay on top 2-0 in this critical match-up.
Going into the second period, the Lightning had full control, taking clean, effective shots all night long. Their next goal came on a Palat flick top shelf to the short side of the net, leaving Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck helpless and silencing the Winnipeg crowd. It was Palat’s 11th goal on the year, assisted by Point and Andrej Sustr.
The Jets got one back in the third, as Jacob Trouba spoiled Bishop’s shutout by putting one past him 11:15 into the period for his fifth goal of the season. This goal was the one of many third period shots from Winnipeg, who were desperately trying to find a weak spot around Bishop. The Jets out-shot the Lightning 13-7 during the third period.
With an empty-net, Hedman found an open space off of a face-off and put the final goal away for Tampa Bay with his eighth of the season, pushing it to 4-1 and putting this game to rest, as the Lightning would push this game out of reach.
It’s the fourth game in a row that the Lightning would grab at least one point. The team now sits four points away from a Wild Card spot and five points shy of third place in the Atlantic Division, sitting at 25-24-7 for a total of 57 points. Tampa Bay will have six days off until their next game in Dallas on February 18 at 8 pm.
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