As Victor Hedman aimed at reaching a milestone, the Lightning looked to rebound after a rough loss against the Nashville Predators on Monday afternoon. Dating back to the Stanley Cup Final last season, Tampa Bay has dominated the Stars and looked to continue that on Tuesday. Despite outplaying the Stars for most of the night, Dallas showed no remorse and made sure the Bolts knew this would not be an easy matchup compared to previous meetings.
The Lightning looked to get a quick start, but it would be the Stars with the first opportunity of the game. Alexander Radulov nearly scored in the opening minutes, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to bat it out. The Stars would continue the pressure, but the Lightning halted their early game effort. After the fast start from Dallas, the Lightning answered back quickly opening the scoring in the process. Brayden Point, on a breakaway, smoothly slid the puck underneath Jake Oettinger to give the Bolts the 1-0 lead. The Stars defense never picked up Point and that allowed him to easily score. As a team, the Lightning dominated the Stars for the remainder of the period on both ends of the ice. Tampa Bay looked to continue that dominance in the second period.
Dallas would get the first chance on the power play after Odrej Palat was called for interference. Tampa’s penalty kill, however, was no match for the Stars’ power play units and the score remained 1-0. Shortly after, the Bolts got their first power play of the night after Dallas was called for delay of game. Just like Tampa Bay, The Stars’ penalty kill prevented the Lightning from scoring and nearly scored on a breakaway following the expired penalty. Minutes later, the Stars got another chance on the man advantage as Cal Foote was called for hooking.
Stars come alive
This time Dallas finally cashed in and tied the game with a goal from Miro Heiskanen. Dallas’ momentum continued following the goal. For the first time all game, Tampa Bay’s defense was pushed to their limits. Just when the Stars thought momentum shifted in their favor, the Lightning broke that momentum when Mathieu Joseph buried a perfect pass from Pat Maroon to put the Bolts up 2-1. For the remainder of the period the score would remain 2-1 heading into the third period.
Once again the Bolts took command of the game to start off the period. However, it would not last thanks to a too many men penalty called on Tampa Bay near the midway point of the period. The Bolts killed the penalty and soon after got their second power play opportunity of the night. Dallas left Steven Stamkos wide open on the spot, and he would make them pay. Stamkos went top shelf on Oettenger to score his team leading 14th goal and give the Bolts a two goal lead. With the assist, Victor Hedman reached 500 career points. He becomes only the 5th player and first defenseman in franchise history reach that milestone.
Heddy ➡️ Stamkos: A timeless play pic.twitter.com/SPxkMz7f4o
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 17, 2021
Late game collapse
With over two minutes to go in the game, Dallas pulled Oettenger to try and get back in the game. Jamie Benn beat Vasilevskiy to cut the Lightning lead to 1. Dallas miraculously found a way to tie the game at 3 with a goal from Radulov that had an odd deflection before going in. Overtime would be needed to decide a winner.
In overtime it was all Dallas to start off, but they could not jab the puck in for the game winner. It was then the Lightning’s turn to try and end the night. Despite some close chances including a great chance in the final seconds the Lightning could not score either and the shootout would be needed to decide a winner. Thankfully, the Lightning would come out with the victory thanks to shootout goals from Ross Colton and Brayden Point. Vasilevskiy denied Pavelski thus allowing Point to score the game winner.
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Brayden Point – 1 goal, 1 assist, and gwg in the shootout
2nd Star: Victor Hedman – 1 assist (500th career point)
3rd Star: Jake Oettinger – 33 of 36 saves
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