2014-15: Johnson’s revenge
After Bishop went down with an injury late in what was the best season a Lightning goaltender had seen in years, the Bolts returned to the playoffs a season after being swept in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens. After setting the tone in the first two games of the second round series, the Lightning were in a battle in game three.
Tied 1-1 with just seconds to go, Victor Hedman led a rush down the right wing and slid the puck over to Tyler Johnson in the slot. Johnson, part of the team swept by the Habs the year prior, got his revenge, sliding it past Carey Price with less than two seconds on the clock. The Bolts would eventually close out the series in six games, before making a run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
2015-16: inaugural 3-on-3
While this was a tough decision, as the Lightning went on another spectacular playoff run to the Eastern Conference Final that year, this memory is etched in the brains of anyone inside Amalie Arena for the Bolts’ season opener on October 8, 2015. The Lightning were apart of the league’s first ever 3-on-3 overtime session.
After a simply insane few minutes, including a penalty shot attempt which was shut down by Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay broke through. It was courtesy of the unlikeliest of sources. Jason Garrison burst in alone on Steve Mason and made a beautiful dangle, sliding it five-hole to give the Lightning the first ever win in 3-on-3 overtime in league history. The period stuck out from the season because nobody was accustomed to the rapid pace of play and open ice, and it led to a boatload of chances.
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