Following Monday night’s 4-1 win, the Tampa Bay Lightning were back at Bridgestone Arena for the second of a back to back with the Nashville Predators. Tampa Bay entered Tuesday night seeking their 6th consecutive victory.
Predators strike first in penalty parade
The game began with Andrei Vasilevskiy returning between the pipes for the Lightning after getting Monday night off. Monday’s game was Vasilevskiy’s first game off since March of 2020, snapping a streak of 35 consecutive starts. For the Predators, it was Juuse Saros getting the start as regular starter Pekka Rinne got a day off.
Whistles came early and often in the first period with Nashville getting the game’s first power play opportunity thanks to a boarding call on Ryan McDonagh at 1:50. The Predators were unable to turn their chance into a goal, however, it was not long after the penalty expired that they found themselves striking first. Rocco Grimaldi took control after a Brayden Point pass went awry in the Nashville zone. Grimaldi sped up ice into the Lightning zone, converting a wrist shot past Vasilevskiy.
Soon after, it was Tampa Bay’s turn on the power play after an interference call against Ryan Ellis. Ellis found himself involved in another penalty a few minutes later as Jan Rutta gave him an ugly crosscheck to the face. The teams then traded roughing calls after a skirmish between Erik Cernak and Michael McCarron. However, McCarron was given an extra 2 minutes for cross checking. But none of these penalties resulted in goals.
It wasn’t until seconds after McCarron’s second penalty expired that the Lightning found the back of the net. Steven Stamkos cleaned up a rebound off a shot from Mikhail Sergachev to claim an easy goal and even the game at 1-1.
Penalties continue, but Bolts break out the offense
23 seconds after the Stamkos goal, a hooking call to Sean Malone gave the Bolts another power play chance. On one of the more dominant power plays we have seen so far this season, Ondrej Palat buried a feed from Stamkos to increase the Tampa Bay lead to 2-1.
— Lightning Radio (@BoltsRadio) February 10, 2021
1:32 later, Mathieu Joseph converted a Sergachev pass into a goal as he used his speed to streak in on net. Joseph’s 3rd goal of the season put Tampa Bay ahead 3-1.
Following the 8 penalties of the first period, the second frame was much quieter. Alex Killorn had the period’s only penalty for tripping. Colton Sissons appeared to have the only goal of the period but video review overturned the call for offside.
Lightning flex muscle in third period
Yanni Gourde gave Tampa Bay a bit of insurance at 6:40 of the final period. Following an icing call on Nashville, Sergachev fired a slapshot on net off the offensive zone face-off. Gourde cleaned up the rebound and converted on a backhand shot to increase the Bolts lead to 4-1.
The Lightning were able to blow the game wide open following a double minor penalty to Ryan Ellis for high sticking on Brayden Point. In the first half of the penalty, another dominant puck moving power play led to Steven Stamkos’ second goal of the game. The timing allowed for the power play clock to reset at 2:00 and Mathieu Joseph struck again. This time, it was a tip in of a Victor Hedman shot. On his 24th birthday, Joseph’s 2 goal game contributed to the Lightning’s 6th straight win overall and 4th straight over the Predators.
Tampa Bay is now 9-1-1 on the season, pointing in 10 of their first 11 games. They sit on top of the Central Division, 3 points ahead of the Florida Panthers. Next up for the Bolts: those very Panthers on Thursday night in Sunrise. Puck drop scheduled for 7:00PM.
3 stars of the game:
- Steven Stamkos (2 G, 1 A)
- Mikhail Sergachev (3A)
- Mathieu Joseph (2 G)
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