Great starts have been something that the Tampa Bay Lightning have struggled with this season. That wasn’t the case at all on Tuesday night. The Bolts scored early goals in all 3 periods, including 2 in the opening minute, en route to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Lightning started the game with numerous offensive chance. First, Jonathan Drouin got the puck in some space, but Laurent Brossoit was able to make the save and Brayden Point’s rebound attempt was off the mark. The chances continued though and Ondrej Palat buried a beautiful pass from Nikita Kucherov in the back of the net to give Tampa Bay the lead less than 5 minutes into the game. The Bolts had to go on the penalty kill to keep the lead shortly after when Victor Hedman was called for tripping, and they were able to do so against the dangerous power play of Edmonton. The Lightning’s offensive prowess continued in the 2nd half of the period, but Brossoit was able to turn away great opportunities from both Drouin and Anton Stralman to keep it at a 1-goal deficit after 1.
Tampa Bay’s momentum carried on extremely early in the 2nd. The Triplets line came through again when Palat scored his 2nd goal of the night just 16 seconds into the period. The Oilers started to play better after the early goal from the Lightning and were able to cut into the lead right near the halfway mark of the period. Iiro Pakarinen scored his 1st goal of the season to bring the deficit back to a single goal. The Lightning got their 1st chance at a power play in the closing minutes of the period when Matt Benning got called for hooking Palat. Hedman had a shot go off of the post, but that was the best chance during the power play and we headed to the 3rd period in a 1-goal game.
The Lightning again struck very early in the period. It was the Triplets line again, but this time it was Kucherov who scored 49 seconds into the period to get the lead back to multiple goals. Penalties to both Milan Lucic and Jake Dotchin put us in a 4-on-4 situation and it looked like Edmonton had cut the lead in half, but after a Jon Cooper challenge, the goal was taken off the board because of an offsides prior to the goal. That call seemed to provide a jolt to to the Amalie Arena crowd and the Tampa Bay defense. The defending and goaltending by Ben Bishop was stellar throughout the remainder of the final period and the Lightning were able to secure the victory. Vlad Namestnikov added a late goal to make it a 4-1 final score.
The Lightning will continue this 4-game homestand on Thursday when they welcome another team from The Great White North to Amalie Arena. The Calgary Flames will be the opponents when the puck drops at 7:30. Pregame coverage will begin at 7 up the dial on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. Tampa Bay - Palat - (Kucherov) - 4:26
1. Tampa Bay - Palat - (Johnson, Kucherov) - 0:16
2. Edmonton - Pakarinen - (Klefbom, Larsson) - 10:17
1. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Stralman, Johnson) - 0:49
2. Tampa Bay - Namestnikov - (Kucherov) - 19:59
1. Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Tripping) - 5:30
1. Edmonton - Benning - (Hooking) - 17:51
1. Edmonton - Lucic - (Cross Checking) - 1:21
2. Tampa Bay - Dotchin - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 1:21
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 27
Edmonton - 21