The Blues are renowned for their tough defensive play which resulted in the Lightning’s second consecutive shutout loss. Early turnovers dug a hole for Tampa Bay, which they were unable to climb out of. After being shut out in the previous game, the Lightning hoped to bounce back against St. Louis. However, they were once again unable to score, despite several chances. Jonas Johansson did his best to keep the Bolts in the game, but it was all for naught.
A jolt of energy
Tampa Bay won the opening face-off and immediately launched an offensive attack, creating the first shot on goal. The team’s energy was contagious and necessary to break through the Blues’ tough defense. As the period progressed, the Bolts kept up the pressure on the Blues’ defense. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s defense contained any Blues’ rush, keeping the game scoreless midway through the first period. Nick Paul missed an easy tap-in, while Steven Stamkos almost scored, but the puck chipped a little too high. These were the best scoring chances of the game thus far. The Blues attempted to capitalize on a pair of turnovers by the Lightning defense, but to no avail.
Blues take advantage of turnovers
The Blues took advantage of a defensive breakdown and scored the first goal of the game. Colton Parayko scored by shooting top shelf to beat Johansson, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. Later, Nick Leddy was called for delay of game, and Tampa received the first power play of the night. Despite putting pressure on offense, Lightning failed to score and still trailed 1-0 with 4:22 left in the period. Tampa continued to put pressure on, but Jordan Binnington made some great saves to deny the puck from slipping through. In the final minute of the period, the Blues almost scored again, but the puck was brushed away before it could cross the goal line. The momentum clearly shifted to the Blues in the second half of the period. As the period was ending, Johansson made a sequence of saves to keep the puck out and the score 1-0.
Trying to break through the defense
Blues immediately applied pressure to start the period and again nearly added to their lead. The period was a complete opposite of the first period with the Blues controlling the puck more and having the better offense. Teams would exchange rushes but not a goal in sight as the period carried on. Midway through the period the score remained 1-0 thanks to the stalwart Blues defense. Lightning continued the pressure, yet Binnington refused to yield and is a major reason why the score is still 1-0.
Digging a hole
On the other hand, Johansson continued to bail out the defense as they struggled to clear the puck out of their zone. Score could easily have been larger than it was had it not been for both goaltenders continuously entertaining fans with their saves. After the Lightning ice the puck and fail to keep possession Jordan Kyrou scores to give the Blues a 2-0 lead. Immediately, Blues would score on the very next shift this time from Jacob Vrana to make it 3-0 St. Louis. The costly mistakes continued to pile up and that allowed the Blues to take over the game. Second period ended with the score remaining 3-0 Blues.
Stalwart defense too much to handle
Same old song and dance to begin the third period as the Lightning desperately search for answers. To this point only one penalty was called which goes to show how much of a grind this game was. Clearly, the stalwart Blues defense would not weaken and is the deciding factor as the game carried on. Johansson continued to play to the best of his abilities in hopes of preventing the Blues from adding to the lead. At this rate though there was nothing Tampa could do that would cause a momentum shift. Johansson was pulled with just over 4 minutes to go and the Blues thought to have immediately score.
On to another showdown with Chicago
The linesmen waive off the goal with shockingly no reason given. After the face-off Johansson was pulled yet again. Next, Blues this time do score on the empty net to make it a 4-0 game. Then, Johansson would stay in net as the closing minutes of the game went by. Blues would add a fifth goal in the final minute adding insult to injury. Lightning received a late power play which in all honestly was useless everything considered. All in all, stalwart play by the Blues defense paired with the numerous mistakes by the Lightning gave the Blues an easy win. Next up for the Lightning is another match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Three stars of the game
1st Star: Jordan Binnington – Shutout the Lightning
2nd Star: Jordan Kyrou – 2 goals
3rd Star: Torey Krug – 2 assists
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