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The defense gets offensive as Bolts thump Senators

Michael Raper | Scrum Sports columnist

Four different defenseman score as the Tampa Bay Lightning rebound in a big way against the Ottawa Senators at Amalie.

TAMPA, FL – Coming off a rough performance in Boston on Thursday night in a 4-1 loss, the Bolts welcomed the last-place Ottawa Senators to Amalie Arena tonight. The Sens are fresh off the firing of former Lightning head coach, Guy Boucher.

It started rough for the Bolt. Within the first couple minutes of tonight’s game they struggled to control the puck in their defensive zone, turning it over a few times early and making Andrei Vasilevskiy work.

The D gets the scoring going

Victor Hedman put his ninth goal of the season past Craig Anderson nearly eight minutes into the first. Ryan McDonagh added one of his own not long after.

Nikita Kucherov would also get an assist on McDonagh’s goal for his 105th point of the season.

The Bolts were up quick 2-0. Senator winger Anthony Duclair took a cross-ice pass and beat Vasy to cut the lead in half.

Cernak gets him some

The defensive scoring continued early in the second period. After taking a nice drop pass from Alex Killorn, rookie Erik Cernak gave the Bolts back their two goal lead.

The Bolts gave up a breakaway chance for Senators winger, Bobby Ryan who was tripped up as he charged in on Vasy. Bring on the penalty shot.

About 90 seconds later it remained a 3-1 game as the crowd erupted as the Bolts goalie denied Ryan’s 14th goal of the season.

Kucherov continues his torrid season

After being named February’s NHL player of the month, Kucherov added his 31st goal to get March started off with a bang. It would put the Bolts up 4-1 and stay that way into the third period despite some scares late including Steven Stamkos leaving the game after being boarded behind the net.

Mikhail Sergachev added his fifth of the season early in the third period, extending the Bolts lead to 5-1.

The final score would remain 5-1 and get the Bolts to 50 wins in 66 games – tying an NHL record.

Three Stars

  1. Erik Cernak – Finished the game +2 and notched his third goal of the season and an assist. Was all over the ice tonight.
  2. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Finished with 36 saves on 37 shots faced.
  3. Ryan McDonagh – Did a little bit of everything tonight with a goal, a +2, and four blocked shots.

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