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Welcome to Tampa, Duclair and Dumba!

Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning

Following Friday’s trade deadline, the Tampa Bay Lightning were excited to welcome some new faces to the lineup. Forward Anthony Duclair and defenseman Matt Dumba were ready to join a team in the thick of a playoff hunt. The Bolts were coming off a lackluster performance at home against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. They needed to rebound in a big way as they have started to lose ground in the wildcard race. Coming into tonight, they were clinging to the second wildcard spot, leading the New York Islanders by just two points with the Isles holding two games in hand. Could the trade deadline acquisitions provide the spark the Lightning so desperately needed?

The Flyers are coming off a thrilling win in Florida Thursday night as they scored the game winning goal with just over twenty seconds remaining in regulation. They sit third in the Metropolitan Division, four points up on those pesky Islanders, having also played two additional games. This game is critical for both teams.

Welcome Back, 2004 Champs

Before anyone could welcome the newest Lightning players, it was time to welcome back some legendary ones. On Friday, two legends were inducted into the Lightning Hall of Fame. Dave Andreychuk and Brad Richards from the 2004 Stanley Cup winning team joined last year’s inductees Phil Esposito, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Members of that 2004 team came into town to join in the celebration. And how fitting it was to have the Philadelphia Flyers in town with their coach John Tortorella who coached that first Lightning Stanley Cup winning team twenty years ago!

A Welcome to Remember

The two newest Bolts could not have asked for a better welcome. The Lightning struck early in this one as Victor Hedman drilled a shot past Samuel Ersson just before the two-minute mark to put his team up 1-0. Nikita Kucherov assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to eight games. Darren Raddysh also picked up on assist on that one and he was far from done!

Just over four minutes later, and halfway through a Philadelphia penalty, the second Lightning power play unit came out. Newly acquired Anthony Duclair seemed to fit right in as he set up Nick Paul for his 18th of the season. Goal number 18 is a career high for Paul. Darren Raddysh picked up another assist on that one. And he was not done yet!

At the 9:10 mark, the Bolts would add to their lead. Conor Sheary, who had had just one goal all season until Thursday night, now has goals in back-to-back games as he notched his third of the season to put his team up 3-0. Guess who got an assist on the play? Darren Raddysh with his third assist of the period!

From Welcome Back to Quick Goodbye

With the Bolts up 3-0 and already having scored one on the power play, they went on the man advantage again after Ronnie Attard tripped Mike Eyssimont. Brayden Point netted his 33rd of the season to give the Bolts a 4-0 lead.

That goal spelled the end for goaltender Samuel Ersson. Felix Sandstrom came in in relief. Also leaving the game at this point was the coach who had been so enthusiastically welcomed back earlier in the evening. John Tortorella continued to argue with the referees as they sent him to the dressing room. After a couple of minutes arguing that he would not go, the man they call “Torts” eventually made his way from the bench to the visitors’ locker room.

Welcome to Tampa Bay, Anthony Duclair!

As eventful as the first period was, the second period was significantly quieter and more evenly matched. Both teams had some chances and both goaltenders made saves as needed. But the one player who broke through that period was the new guy in town- Anthony Duclair. Steven Stamkos went flying in but didn’t get away the shot he wanted. Duclair skated in and found a juicy rebound that he tucked past Sandstrom.

Keep ’em Coming, Darren!

The Flyers were desperate to get anything going in the third period. But it was the Lightning that struck again. At 7:33, Victor Hedman blasted his second of the game past Sandstrom to put the Bolts up 6-0. Darren Raddysh got another assist on the goal for his fourth of the night.

Seconds later, the Bolts would go to the power play again. This time, it was Brandon Hagel drilling a shot from the point past Sandstrom. Duclair did not get an assist on the play, but his screen in front of the net definitely contributed to the goal. Someone who did get an assist was- once again- Darren Raddysh- his fifth assist of the game which ties a franchise record!

A Much Welcome Gordie Howe Hat Trick

This was a much welcome game for many reasons. First and foremost, the Lightning desperately needed the two points. Second, it was a powerful response after the lackluster performance last game. And the two trade deadline acquisitions made their presence felt as they combined for a Gordie Howe hat trick- a goal and an assist for Duclair and a fight for Dumba who had just flown in from Phoenix earlier in the day to join his new team.

The only negative for the Bolts tonight was that Erik Cernak exited the game late in the second period after he fell awkwardly and was not able to put weight on his right leg. Let’s hope the rest helps him heal!

Three Stars

1- Darren Raddysh- 5 assists to tie a franchise record

2- Victor Hedman- 2 goals, 1 assist- 3 points

3- Anthony Duclair- 1 goal, 1 assist in his Lightning debut

Honorable mention to Andrei Vasilevskiy for a 25-save shutout

Up Next

The Bolts will get several days off to rest once again this week. They finish out this homestand against the Metropolitan Division leading New York Rangers Thursday night. Puck drop scheduled for 7pm.


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