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Yanni’s return spoiled as Bolts shut out Kraken in first ever meeting

Wayne Masut | The Scrum Sports

There’s nothing like a first. A first job, a first kiss. Or, in Yanni Gourde’s case, a first return to your former home Friday night. It was also a first for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they did battle with the Seattle Kraken for the inaugural time inside Amalie Arena. 

Lightning control pace, see another first

It seems of late each and every game a Lightning player gets the monkey off their back. Last game it was Corey Perry. Friday? Another Lightning player who hasn’t been without their chances got the elusive first of the season. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was the recipient of a beautiful pass from none other than Perry. He made no mistake, chipping it past Phillip Grubauer to make it 1-0 Bolts.

It was a first period in which Tampa Bay outshot the Kraken 13-7. They controlled much of the play and looked to carry that into period number two. The best way to do that? Start an in-game trend that always gets coaches smiling.

Early tallies a secondary theme

The Bellemare goal came just 2:52 into the opening period. Ross Colton said I see your early goal, and I raise you a goal within the first minute of the second. A point shot was caught in traffic in front of the net and bounced to Colton, who wired it home to double the Lightning lead.

Vasilevskiy strong when tested in second

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t the busier of the two goaltenders throughout the opening twenty minutes, but when called upon, he was rock solid. His most impressive save of the middle stanza came when he was tripped up by Victor Hedman. While stumbling, he still reached out with the blocker to keep the puck out of the net.

It was 2-0 Lightning after 40.

The captain adds insurance

After a third period in which the Bolts continued to frustrate Seattle’s forwards and limit Kraken shots on goal, the captain added some more breathing room. Ondrej Palat forced a turnover and got it to Stamkos and he ripped a vintage one-timer past Grubauer to make it 3-0 Lightning.

The final shots were 26-17 Tampa Bay in a 3-0 Bolts win. It was a back-to-back shutout night for Vasilevskiy, who collected his 200th career win in the effort.

Our three stars of the game

  1. Boris Katchouk: Noticeable all night long, while battling through a rough collision that sent him to the locker room momentarily.
  2. Andrei Vasilevskiy: A rock in his 200th win.
  3. Ondrej Palat: The reason the Stamkos goal happened and a force all game, it was another solid effort from Palat.

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