Bolts Beat Wild, But Suffer Multiple Injuries In The Process

It’s hard to call a victory bittersweet when you are competing for a playoff spot, but that is what happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. The Bolts jumped on top of the Minnesota Wild and never looked back, but lost 3 centers in the process. Vlad Namestnikov and Tyler Johnson went down in the 2nd period and Cedric Paquette went down in the 3rd. All 3 suffered lower body injuries and were not able to return. The Lightning still picked up a much-needed 2 points though with the 4-1 victory. 

This game didn’t feature the early barrage of shots at Andrei Vasilevskiy that have been coming in recent weeks. Tampa Bay got the 1st great chance of the game when Ryan Suter was sent to the box for Minnesota and the Bolts took advantage. Nikita Kucherov scored just seconds into the power play to give the Lightning the early lead. It didn’t take long for the Bolts to double their lead. Victor Hedman scored his 13th goal of the season less than 5 minutes later to make it 2-0. The Wild started to get going on offense after that 2nd goal, but Vasilevskiy continued his recent great play to keep it at a 2-goal deficit after 1. 

Tampa Bay got a very early power play opportunity to start the period when Jason Zucker was called for hooking only a minute in, but they wouldn’t have the same success that they did in the 1st period. A scary moment happened just after when Vlad Namestnikov went down in a lot of pain after what appeared to be a leg injury. Namestnikov was briefly down on the ice, but was able to skate off with help from a few teammates. The damper on the Amalie Arena crowd was short-lived though. The Lightning’s 3rd goal came from an unlikely source when Andrej Sustr was able to get the puck past Devan Dubnyk for only his 2nd goal of the season. The Lightning had another injury setback shortly later, when Tyler Johnson went down with another apparent leg injury after being hit up against the boards. Word came down near the end of the period that neither Johnson nor Namestnikov would return with lower body injuries.

The Lightning started the 3rd on the penalty kill after Brayden Point got sent to the box with less than a minute left in the 2nd. The Lightning were able to kill of that penalty to keep the Wild from cutting into the lead early in the period. The Bolts had to kill off another penalty midway through the period, but again held to keep the Wild scoreless. Right after that power play the Bolts suffered their 3rd injury to a center on the evening. This time it was Cedric Paquette who needed help getting off of the ice. Minnesota was finally able to score with 4 minutes left and the Bolts had to face some serious pressure when Jason Garrison was sent to the box right after. The Bolts killed off that penalty and Kucherov added an empty netter with about a minute to go to secure the victory. 

The Bolts will have Friday night off before they get right back on the ice on Saturday. Tampa Bay will welcome in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, to Amalie Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 o’clock with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes prior on News Radio 970 WFLA. 



1. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Hedman, Palat) - 6:53

2. Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Drouin, Dotchin) - 11:01


1. Tampa Bay - Sustr - (Kucherov, Johnson) - 4:37


1. Minnesota - Scandella - (Brodin, Koivu) - 16:02

2. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Gourde) - 18:51




1. Minnesota - Suter - (Tripping) - 6:46

2. Tampa Bay - Witkowski - (Roughing) - 7:32


1. Minnesota - Zucker - (Hooking) - 1:08

2. Tampa Bay - Point - (Tripping) - 19:13


1. Tampa Bay - Dotchin - (Holding) - 9:09

2. Minnesota - Prosser - (Interference) - 13:03

3. Tampa Bay - Garrison - (High Sticking) - 16:02


Tampa Bay - 29

Minnesota - 33

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content