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Senators Sink Bolts in Final Road Game

Tonight marks the final road game of the season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Opposing arenas have not been kind to the Bolts this year. Despite their 96-point season, they are under .500 on the road at 18-21-1. They definitely will want to improve their road game, considering that they will not have home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, and are unlikely to gain it for any future rounds. Tonight’s contest will not change anything in the standings. The Bolts are locked into third place in the Atlantic and the Ottawa Senators are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Brian Elliott got the nod in net for the Bolts tonight- his second straight start. Can the Lightning wrap up their road season on a high note?

Quick Start to Final Road Game

Just over 2 weeks ago, the Senators embarrassed the Lightning by trouncing them 7-2 in Ottawa. Obviously, they were hoping for a better fate. But it did not start off well. Just 30 seconds in, Drake Batherson beat Elliott with a tip-in to put the Senators up 1-0.

The Bolts tied it up just over 2 minutes later on the game’s first power play. Steven Stamkos originally got the credit for the goal but upon further review, it was determined that Alex Killorn had tipped the puck in. It was the 26th goal of the season for Killorn, tying his career high.

Julien Gauthier gave the Senators back a lead a little after the halfway point. They carried that 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

A Period of Power Play Goals

The Senators started off the second by building on the lead. Patrick Brown scored his 4th of the season at 6:21 to give the Sens a 2-goal lead. But the Lightning fought back on the power play.

The Bolts headed to the power play at 12:17 as Erik Brannstrom went to the box for interference against Brandon Hagel. Less than a minutes into the power play, Brayden Point had a scoring chance but got tripped by Claude Giroux. Giroux joined Brannstrom in the box and the Lightning had a 5 on 3 advantage. Hagel scored his 29th of the season to pull the Bolts within a goal again.

Twenty-eight seconds later, still on the second power play, Victor Hedman tied the game at 3-3 with his 9th goal of the season.

Unfortunately for the Lightning, the Senators got a power play of their own in the dying minutes of the second frame, and Alex DeBrincat scored his 27th of the season with just 16 seconds remaining in the period to restore the Senators’ lead heading to the dressing room.

Disappointing End to Road Season

As they had done in the opening two periods, the Senators opened the scoring in the third period. It took just 2:07 for them to restore a 2-goal lead.

About four minutes later came the only true highlight of the night for Lightning fans. Brayden Point scored his 49th of the season! He needs just one more goal in the remaining two games to become the third player in Lightning history (Lecavalier and Stamkos are the other two) to hit the elusive 50-goal mark. The goal pulled the Lightning to within one at 5-4.

But, once again, Ottawa was quick to restore a two-goal lead on a goal by Mark Kastelic. Claude Giroux put the final nail in the Bolts’ coffin with an empty net goal.

For the 2nd time in 16 days, the Lightning gave up 7 goals to the Senators in Ottawa.

Woeful Road Season

The final road game of the season was not pretty for the Bolts. They finish the season at 18-22-1 on the road. They lost all 3 games of this final road trip of the season, and 3 of the 4 games on their previous road trip, making them 1-6 in their last 7 games as they had to the playoffs without home ice advantage.

3 Stars

1- Alex DeBrincat- 1 goal, 1 assist

2- Jake Sanderson- 2 assists

3- Brayden Point- goal #49

Up Next

The Bolts finish up the season with 2 home games. They face off against their first round opponents, the Toronto Maple Leafs in a playoff preview on Tuesday night at 7pm.



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