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Hagel and Perbix aid in riveting comeback against the visiting Kings

Photo courtesy of Alex Walworth

After being down 2-0, with the help of Brandon Hagel and Nick Perbix the Lightning pull of a thrilling comeback to defeat Los Angeles 3-2. Kings are known as one of the top teams when it comes to killing penalties and that was on full display tonight. Numerous chances were there all night for the Bolts, but they failed to captivate on them until times were desperate. A third period to never forget played out which included 2 goals in 5 minutes to send the game to overtime. The win gave Jon Cooper his 500th career win all with the Lightning.


Getting started

As soon as the puck dropped the Lightning rushed into the King’s zone. For the first few minutes of the game, the puck mainly stayed with Tampa as the Kings did not have much possession to start the game. That would not last as a minute later the Kings nearly scored four minutes into the game. Teams then exchanged solid defensive plays keeping the puck away from the net in a still scoreless game. With 11:15 to go Conor Sheary was called for hooking giving Los Angeles a power play. Midway through the period, only 8 total shots on goal were made which favored the Lightning 5 to 3. Then, the Lightning killed off the penalty to keep the game scoreless.

Scoreless period

Kings never really had a good chance on the man advantage up until the final seconds in which it was too little too late. Afterwards, the offense of the Lightning continued to generate prime scoring chances, but Cam Talbot remained calm in the net and denied Tampa Bay from scoring to this point. A lot of passing occurred as the teams tried to find just the right lane/area to try and strike first. A Steven Stamkos turnover nearly led to a Kings goal, but it was shot wide of net. The period ended scoreless as it seemed the teams were getting a feel for each other.

Talbot denying the offense

Second period began exactly how the first period went with the Lightning nearly scoring in the first couple of minutes. Defense remained tight despite a hiccup here and there and the Lightning offense continued to pressure Talbot and the Kings defense. Once again, Talbot was poised in net stopping any puck that came his way and the game continues to be scoreless because of it. Half the period saw Tampa control the puck for the most part and when they needed Andrei Vasilevskiy to make the saves he delivered.

Kings takeover

Finally, a goal was scored but it would come from the visiting Kings. Phillip Danault fired a wrist shot past Vasilevskiy to open the scoring and give Los Angeles the 1-0 lead. Nobody picked up Jordan Spence which allowed him to feed Danault in front for the goal. All it would take is one mistake for either team to gain the lead and unfortunately for the Lightning it was theirs that would be costly. Again, another turnover leads to a Kings goal. Nikita Kucherov before he went off the ice tried to play the puck, but it was taken away leading to a 5-on-4 opportunity for the Kings. Matt Roy then fired the puck high that Vasy had no chance in saving to extend the lead 2-0.

Land of confusion

A bizarre series of events occurred in what seemed like a goal for Anthony Cirelli. Talbot went down for the save, officials intended to blow the whistle, and Cirelli flicked the puck over Talbot’s pads and put the puck in as the whistle was blown. The call on the ice is a goal, but Cirelli was sent off after for roughing. Kings then challenged the goal for interference and after review the goal is waived off. After all the madness the score remains 2-0 with Adrian Kempe also going to the box for roughing. With 9 seconds left in the period Lightning would get their first power play of the game that carried over into the third period.

Desperate times

Third period began with 1:51 left on the power play for Tampa Bay. Kings kill off the penalty as Talbot continues to rob the Lightning, but Lightning went back on the power play for a check to the head. Again, Kings penalty kill get the job done this time completely shutting down the Lightning. Frustration began to build up for Tampa as they have yet to find an answer to Talbot. Kings defense remained rock solid as the period went on as the desperation began for the Lightning. Nothing would go Tampa’s way tonight despite all the pressure they applied.

Lightning wakes up at the right time

With just over 7 minutes to go the Lightning offense finally answered Talbot. Tyler Motte fired a wrist shot that trickled past Talbot to cut the Kings lead 2-1. This was a much-needed goal for Tampa as they needed a spark to get the crowd and the team back in the game. Soon after, Lightning tied up the game and finally regained momentum. Brandon Hagel displayed his slick moves to fight off the Kings defense and beat Talbot to tie the game up 2-2. Emil Martinsen Lilleberg notched his first career point with the secondary assist on the goal. Somehow someway this game headed to overtime after what became a thrilling third period of hockey.


Comeback completed

Lightning won the opening face-off and carefully began moving the puck up. They continued to keep the puck they best they could while the Kings looked to spoil the comeback. In the end it was the Lightning who completed the comeback and came out of overtime with the victory. Once again it was a valiant effort by Hagel to move the puck and pass it to Perbix for the game-winning goal in overtime. Lightning win 3-2, give coach Cooper his 500th win, and face the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at Amalie Arena.


Three stars of the game

1st Star: Nick Perbix – 1 goal (gwg in OT)

2nd Star: Brandon Hagel – 1 goal and 1 assist

3rd Star: Cam Talbot – Saved 26 of 29 shots faced

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