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Ottawa Proved To Be a Challenge but Lightning prevail 4-3

After a brief but winning West Coast trip, the Tampa Bay Lightning returned to the friendly confines of Amalie Arena. On tap tonight were the new look Ottawa Senators. New, because almost a third of their roster played for a different NHL team last season. Would the home crowd be a remedy for this four game homestand? 

Tampa won two of the three games in California. This means they’ve won four of their last five and catapulted from last place in the division to fourth in this time. A decent streak in anyone’s opinion. This would be the Lightning’s first look at these Senators. Ottawa is coming in losers of their last two games.

Opening Salvo

In the early minutes of the game as they were feeling each other out, a fight got the energy in the building going. Pat Maroon for Tampa and Ottawa’s Austin Watson dropped the mitts. Though no big blows, there were a couple of why I ought to enough to satisfy anyone. After the five minute mark, a misplay right in front of Andrei Vasilevskiy led to the game’s first goal. Dylan Gambrell was the recipient of the loose puck and slid it past Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning had a power play opportunity but really had issues entering Ottawa’s zone let alone putting up a decent scoring chance. Victor Hedman didn’t dress for the game. Ian Cole moved up to pair with Erik Cernak. Toward the end of the first period, Alex Killorn seem to take a header into the boards. Fortunately, he skated off under his own power.

With 32 seconds left in the period, the Lightning earned another power play opportunity. They got a very good scoring chance from Steven Stamkos. Senators goalie Anton Forsberg was up to the task and the period ended in a 1 – 0 Ottawa lead. No question that the Lightning dominated the puck and as a result had an 11 to 3 advantage in shots on goal.

Ottawa Has Some Fight

Entering the second period the Lightning had a minute and a half of a power play. Both Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov had decent opportunities to light the lamp but Forsberg fought everything off. As luck would have it, the referees called another penalty on Ottawa and the fourth Tampa chance with the extra man began.

The fourth was the charm. Mikhail Sergachev blasted a shot past Forsberg to knot up this game at one. Just after the goal but before the goal announcement, Sergachev was called for a penalty to give Ottawa their first power play.  Though the Senators had some hard fought zone time, they came away empty. At the end of Sergachev’s penalty, Travis Harmonic was whistled for a hooking penalty.

Cernak seemed to be injured and was prone on the ice for a bit. Gambrell who scored the Senators first goal was called for a five minute major and match penalty for an attempt to injure Cernak, Would the Lightning capitalize on this opportunity to tie the game again?

No, the Lightning would not take advantage of the extra man and that included a 5 on 3 advantage. Former Lightning Matthieu Joseph scored a rare short handed goal being down two men. This gave the visitors the lead as the period ended.

End  of A Two Game Streak

One thing for certain is somebody’s two game streak was going to end. Either the Lightning’s two game winning streak or the Senator’s two game losing streak.

Through the first half of the final period, this penalty filled game saw even more penalties. Five penalties on both sides led to no scoring. Then the game changed.

Then the floodgates opened. Alex Killorn tied the game at two with assists from Stamkos and Nick Paul. Forty seconds after that goal, Ottawa’s Claude Giroux gave the Senators the lead again.

Not to be outdone, Braydon Point tied the game a little over a minute later. Now we’re knotted at three with about seven minutes to go. Who is going to step up?

As the game was winding down, Sergachev made a beautiful no look cross ice pass to Kucherov who snapped the game winner past the valiant Forsberg

Three Stars

1. Nikita Kucherov – One goal, two assists

2. Braydon Point – One goal and one assist

3. Mikhail Sergachev – One goal and one assist.

What’s Next

Thursday at 7:00 pm at Amalie hosting the Carolina Hurricanes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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