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Franchise Record Home Win Streak at 12

Photo credit: Alex Walworth Scrum Sports

Tonight at Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to set a franchise record. A tidy dozen. A win tonight will be their 12th consecutive win in their friendly confines of Amalie. The Los Angeles Kings won’t be a walk in the park. They are currently the number one team in the Pacific Division. Since it’s Gasparilla night here at Amalie, it could be more of a walk down the plank. The Lightning weren’t taking any chances by wearing their pirate Lightning bolt sweaters during the warmups. They are taking this home win streak seriously. After this game, the Lightning will have a nine day break for the All-Star festivities. A strong performance by the home team will allow the Lightning to set the team record for most consecutive wins.  

The Kings played in Sunrise last night and beat the Florida Panthers 4 – 3.  They may be a little drained in their second part of the Florida NHL two-step. As it is the last game for the Lightning before the protracted mid-season break. They want to extend their home win streak. They want to go on their break on that high note. Only the Kings stand in their way.

First Shot Across The Bow

Despite having played last night, the Kings seemed to be winning all the early puck battles. Maybe it was the adrenaline of their big win against the Panthers last night. The Kings have a very respectable 14-8-4 road record. Any momentum the visitors had came crashing to an end five minutes into this game. Nikita Kucherov fed Brayden Point right in front of King goalie Jonathan Quick and Point didn’t miss the point blank shot. He put it past Quick for the opening salvo in tonight’s game.

The Amalie crowd was just settling down when a little less than 90 seconds after the Point goal, the Lightning scored again. Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare on a beautiful feed by Nick Perbix doubled the Lightning lead to 2-0.

Will The Kings Put Up a Fight?

No one could blame the Kings after winning last night to split the two state of Florida games and take the loss the Lightning wanted to serve them. But that isn’t how you lead an NHL division. The Kings were determined not to let the Lightning run away with this game. A little after the 10 minute mark of the period, Jaret Anderson-Dolan put the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy to put Los Angeles on the board. Assisted by Kevin Fiala and just like that, it’s a one goal game.

The Lightning still maintained a good forecheck throughout the period and that lunch pail work of the Lightning fourth line punched the clock. Vlad Namestnikov kept the puck in the L.A. zone and Perbix shot towards the net looking for a rebound shot. It worked to perfection as Quick kicked out the shot and the puck landed on Corey Perry’s stick. Perry knows what to do when the puck is on his stick and the opposing goalie is on his ass. 3-1 Lightning. That’s how the first period ended. Onto the second period.

Avast Ye Matey

The second period of tonight’s game was the feeling out time between these two clubs. A couple of penalties, a couple of power plays and even a couple of 4 on 4’s. Still the score held firm. Lightning up 3-1. Just as the 15 minute mark of the period passed, Perbix took another shot aimed at forcing Quick to use his pads thereby not controlling the rebound. Ross Colton jumped on the puck and put that biscuit in the basket to give the Lightning a three goal lead at 4-1.

As the period was winding down, the Lightning were looking very comfortable. This effort was going to set a new franchise record for a home win streak if  this play continued in the third period. With less than a minute to go in the second, Phillip Danault was attempting a cross ice pass between the hash marks. Lightning defenseman Ian Cole went for the steal but his stick got only a piece of the puck. Unfortunately, Cole pushed the puck past Vasilevskiy to put the score at 4-2 Lightning as the second period came to an end.

Securing the Franchise Home Win Streak Record

Los Angeles was not about to go off meekly in the good night. They came firing in the third and took control of the puck possession. If they could score a goal, they would be down one goal with a goalie pull in their immediate future. Despite getting some good looks, Vasilevskiy denied every L.A. shot. Conversely, the Lightning only mustered one shot on goal in the final period. As the good fortune of this Gasparilla night would have it, that lone Lightning shot went in the net for a goal.

Victor Hedman assisted by Steven Stamkos and Point made the score 5-2. That was the final score. In this last game before the break, the Lightning won their 12th consecutive home victory. This team has had some recent milestones with Stamkos scoring his 500th career goal and Vasilevskiy winning his 250th game. Now, this team set a franchise record with consecutive home win streak of 12 games.

Three Stars of the Game

  1.  Nick Perbix – Phil Esposito must love that Perbix shoots at the net all game long. Tonight it lead to 3 assists for the rookie defenseman
  2. Brayden Point – 1 goal and 1 assist.
  3. Fourth Line – 2 goals from P.E. Bellemare and Corey Perrt and 1 assist from Namestnikov.

What’s Next

Nine days off for the team. Next game will be on February 6th at 7:00 pm. Lightning go to Sunrise to play the Panthers.


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