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In final meeting of the season, Bolts too much for Bobrovsky

Wayne Masut

This season hasn’t quite been going the way the Tampa Bay Lightning or it’s fans expected. So far entering tonight’s game the Bolts are close to their total amount of loses they had a season ago. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn’t been the same goalie who took home the Vezina Trophy in the off-season. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s division and in-state rival the Florida Panthers came into Amalie tonight. In three meetings this season the Lightning hold a 2-1 record, most recently winning in Sunrise on December 10th. Sergei Bobrovsky would lace up the pads for the Florida Panthers, while Andrei Vasilevskiy would be opposite him for the Lightning.

Interesting stat

While the Bolts are 17-13-4, their division record within the Atlantic is an astounding 10-2. While they haven’t played their best hockey this season, their division record is quite promising.

Get to the Point

Forty one seconds, that’s all it took for the Lightning to get to Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. With Ondrej Palat bringing the puck into the offensive zone Erik Cernak would get a puck from Nikita Kucherov and fire it on net. Brayden Point sitting in front of Bobrovsky tipped the puck on net for a 1-0 Bolts lead early in the first period. The goal was Point’s 14th of the season.

With under five minutes remaining in the opening period, Victor Hedman who had his family in Tampa for the holidays for the first time notched a goal for a 2-0 lead. Palat and Point would both get the assists on Hedman’s eighth goal of the season. The Bolts dominated the shots on goal through one, nearly doubling up the Panthers 16-9. Tampa wasn’t done yet, Mikhail Sergachev got in on the action with a wrist shot while on the power play. Palat would get his second helper of the period.

Another couple milestones

With his assist on Point’s game opening goal, Kucherov would hit the 500 career point mark. That was also his 300th career assist. Kucherov continues to pile on the milestones this season.

Killer strikes

With two Bolts in the box for different penalties, Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau would cut the Lightning’s lead to two goals (3-1).  Just over three minutes later, the Bolts would strike on the power play yet again. Alex Killorn would notch his 11th goal of the season. Bolts captain Steven Stamkos and Hedman would collect the assists on the goal. Stamkos continues his climb to 800 career points. He now sits at 797 points following that assist, but 797 points wasn’t good enough for Stamkos.

Moments later while on the power play, the Lightning would pass the puck around in the offensive zone. The puck would bounce from Kucherov to Stamkos to Hedman with Kucherov finally burying a wrist shot top shelf on Bobrovsky for a 5-1 lead. Stamkos now sits at 798 points for his career. Stamkos is also only eight assists away from 400 for his career with the two tonight.

Bobrovsky struggles

Through two periods the shots on goal are fairly even 23-20 in favor of Tampa, the difference is Bobrovsky has only made 18 saves through 40 minutes. Everyone knows Bobrovsky is typically a slow starter to the season, but I doubt Florida expected him to be this slow. Late in the period Hedman would notch his second goal of the night.

Up Next..

The Bolts will welcome in Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at 7:00pm

Three Stars of the Night

3rd Star – Nikita Kucherov: Three points on the night 1g-2a

2nd Star – Brayden Point: Four points on the night 1g-3a

1st Star – Victor Hedman: 2 goals , 1 assist


Check out our official YouTube channel for locker room videos and post game press conferences.

Check out past articles from Trevor Grout

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