What was a rough stretch of 7 periods without a goal, the Lightning’s offense came alive to surprise the Blackhawks in a much-needed win on the road. Every streak has to end eventually; tonight was the night for Tampa. From the beginning, the players were itching to break the mold and finally score a goal. Numerous times in the offensive zone would play a major role in taking control of the game nullifying Chicago’s hopes of ever clawing back. Despite eventually losing Anthony Cirelli to an injury the team remained resilient and carried on. As the night went on, the defense while not having to work too hard made sure to clear the puck and keep the attack going.
Getting the offense rolling
To begin, it nook nearly three minutes for the first shot on net to occur which was by Chicago. Back and forth the puck went with both teams vying for a quality chance to open the scoring. Possession was not the issue just a lot of passing went on without shots reaching the net. Around the midway point of the period Tampa would go on the power play. Wyatt Kaiser was called for hooking and right away the Bolts power play went to work. However, Chicago killed off the penalty with the Lightning’s best chance coming as the power play expired. To this point of the period, (8:19 to go) Lightning were out shooting the Blackhawks 4 to 1.
When will the drought end?
A scrum then occurred with Mikhail Sergachev sent off for boarding. Anthony Cirelli had a breakaway opportunity on the penalty kill but Petr Mrazek made the same. Then, Lukas Reichel scored his first goal since April to give Chicago the 1-0 lead. Clearly, momentum was with Chicago in a game that did not see much action until the Sergachev penalty. That gave the Blackhawks the spark they needed to wake up and get on the board. For the Bolts the woes continue as it seemed no matter what they did the puck would not find the back of the net. Feels as if Tampa is cursed as it is now 7 periods without a goal for the Lightning.
Ending the drought
Out of the gate Tampa’s offense was firing desperate for finally scoring a goal. Hawks continued to block shots as they are one of the top teams in the league for blocked shots. Flurries of shots continued yet the score remained 1-0. Unfortunately, Cirelli would head to the locker room after staying on the bench due to a blocked shot that caught him in the wrist. Soon after Lightning went on the power play for the second time tonight. Rejoice as the drought is finally over! Brayden Point scores off a deflection on the power play to tie the game up Goal would be reviewed for offsides and after review the call stands. Due to the failed challenge Lightning went back on the power play hoping to gain the lead.
THAT'S A GOOD GOAL 😤 pic.twitter.com/c5K3hw4bAH
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 17, 2023
Sergachev nets his first of the season
Hawks’ penalty kill gets the job done keeping the game tied with 13:20 to go. Pace was picking up now that the equalizer was scored. Goals kept on coming as Sergachev scored his first goal of the season to give Tampa the 2-1 lead. Immediately after the goal a bit of chaos ensues. Michael Eyssimont did not take kindly to the Connor Murphy hit on Tanner Jeannot and immediately drops the gloves. Eyssimont and Murphy are sent off for fighting along with Eyssimont receiving a minor for roughing. Chicago did not score on the power play that felt as if it was a Lightning power play. Bolts kept the 2-1 lead in tact heading into the third period.
Cirelli done for the night
Unfortunate news for Tampa to start the period as Cirelli was ruled out for the remainder of the game. A familiar face then tied the game up for the home team. Corey Perry cashed in on a Lightning turnover and scored on the nearly open net with ease for the 2-2 equalizer. Teams would exchange more quality chances as half the period went by yet the score remained even. Minutes later Lightning nearly had the lead but Murphy swept the puck away while it was on the goal line. However, Lightning kept the puck in the offensive zone and re-gained the lead.
Zone time seals the deal
Victor Hedman fired a wrister that beat Mrasek giving Tampa the 3-2 lead. Afterwards, Nick Paul and Kaiser are sent to the box for roughing with 7:10 to go. Bolts offense seemed to never keep their feet off the pedals and took command of the game. Main focus for Tampa was to nullify any chances of Chicago getting back into the game and pinning the Hawks in their zone will do just that. With 1:25 left Blackhawks pull Mrazek for the extra man in hopes of tying the game. Instead, Brandon Hagel scores on the empty net to extend the lead 4-2. Total domination for the Bolts as they held Chicago to only two shots on goal in the third period and walk away with the victory. Lightning will return home to face the Edmonton Oilers late in the afternoon on Saturday.
HEDDY GRABBED THAT LEAD 👏 pic.twitter.com/7rwnHnlJ1X
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 17, 2023
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Victor Hedman – 1 goal (game-winning goal) and 1 assist
2nd Star: Brayden Point – 1 goal and 2 assists
3rd Star: Mikhail Sergachev – 1 goal and 1 assist
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