The Tampa Bay Lightning (34-26-9) faced a divisional rival in the Ottawa Senators (39-22-7) tonight as they continued their pursuit for a ticket to the postseason. The Bolts went into Tuesday night’s action down only one point from a coveted playoff spot. Standing in their way were the Senators, who were riding a six-game winning streak and dead set on claiming the Atlantic Division. Were the Lightning able to fell Ottawa and inch closer to their playoff dreams? Let’s recap the action and take a look!
First Period: It wouldn’t take long for the fireworks to begin as Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point cashed in off a rebound at the 3:05 mark. This would be Point’s third goal within 24 hours as he netted two last night against the New York Rangers. The referees swallowed their whistles and let these teams feel one another out with body hits and physical play. What followed was a stalemate for the rest of the period as neither team dictated momentum for extended periods of time.
The Lightning did a successful job at keep Ottawa’s shots to the outside. This enabled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make routine saves and stay fluid. In the final seconds, Tampa Bay applied some pressure on Ottawa’s goaltender Mike Condon and almost added to their lead, but he was able keep the Senators only down by one heading into the second period.
Second Period: It would seem a trend was forming, as this time it was Ottawa who scored early to start the period. From a fortunate bounce off the referee, Senators’ forward Tommy Wingels ripped one from the point and found pay dirt to tie the game 2:35 into the second. The Lightning were not too keen on this as they raised their level of play and kept Ottawa prisoner in their own zone for a chunk of the period.
This was rewarded with a late power play opportunity as Ottawa’s Zack Smith was whistled for hooking. The Bolts showed a lot of flash, but the chance fizzled out and they came away empty-handed. In the end, the second was strangely similar to the first in a sense that both teams were still trading chances, but were unable to continue momentum off an early goal.
Third Period: The third period would give us something different. There would be no early scoring, but instead more action than the first two combined. Condon must have found Ben Bishop’s horseshoe, because the Lightning put on tremendous pressure halfway through the third and he made sprawling save after save to keep this one tied. The suspense wouldn’t stop there as the Lightning were whistled for too many men and had to kill a power play during the final two minutes of the game. They were successful and off we went to overtime.
Overtime: It would all be decided in overtime as both teams toyed with their chances, but it would be Tampa Bay’s defenseman Victor Hedman who finally got one past Condon off a dish from Ondrej Palat. This would be a spectacular finish to an all around fantastic game.
Hedman could only credit Palat after the goal.
“Probably the easiest goal I scored all season,” said the Big Swede.
Three Stars of The Game:
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, 31 saves, 1 goal allowed
- Mike Condon, 35 saves, 2 goals allowed
- Victor Hedman, OT GWG
Next up: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (31-23-14) on Thursday night at 7:30pm at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
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