Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Lightning have had their fair share of experience responding to adversity this season. That experience came in big time on Thursday night. The Bolts responded to their most deflating loss of the year with a season salvaging performance. Jonathan Drouin ended a 13-game goalless drought and Nikita Kucherov picked up another hat-trick in a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins.
After a scoreless 1st period things really got going in the 2nd. David Pastrnak scored on a power play just over a minute into the period, but it didn’t take long for the Lightning to answer back. Brayden Point added his 13th goal of the season less than a minute later to tie the game back up. Boston added another goal on special teams later in the period when Zdeno Chara scored a short-handed goal to put the Bruins back in front. Tampa Bay continued the theme of answering quickly when Nikita Kucherov scored his 35th goal of the season only 24 seconds later. Boston regained the lead around the 13 minute mark of the period with a Riley Nash goal, but Anton Stralman scored less than 2 minutes later to tie the game and send us to the final period knotted at 3 goals a piece.
The Bolts had to kill a penalty very early in the 3rd when Kucherov was sent to the box for holding the stick, but Peter Budaj made a couple of huge saves to keep the game tied. That penalty kill would prove to be huge as Jonathan Drouin would end his 13-game goalless drought with a bullet of the shot to give the Lightning their 1st lead of the night. Tampa Bay extended their lead near the halfway mark of the period when Kucherov picked up his 2nd power play goal of the night after his shot deflected off of a Boston player and into the net. Kucherov then added an empty netter in the closing minutes to get his 2nd hat-trick in recent memory.
The Bolts will be right back on the ice tomorrow night. The Lightning will play their final game in historic Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 pm with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes prior up the dial on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. Boston - PPG - Pastrnak - (Bergeron, Spooner) - 1:33
2. Tampa Bay - Point - (Palat, Dotchin) - 2:17
3. Boston - SHG - Chara - (Nash, Moore) - 7:50
4. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Drouin, Hedman) - 8:14
5. Boston - Nash - (Moore, Miller) - 13:18
6. Tampa Bay - Stralman - (Palat, Point) - 14:53
1. Tampa Bay - Drouin - (Killorn, Dotchin) - 4:12
2. Tampa Bay - PPG - Kucherov - (Hedman, Drouin) - 10:11
3. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Palat) - 18:03
1. Boston - Marchand - (Holding) - 1:55
2. Tampa Bay - Stralman - (Tripping) - 1:55
3. Boston - Bench Minor - (Too Many Men On Ice) - 8:08
4. Tampa Bay - Dumont - (Hooking) - 11:18
1. Tampa Bay - Dumont - (Tripping) - 1:21
2. Boston - Carlo - (Tripping) - 7:25
3. Tampa Bay - Palat - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 19:05
4. Boston - Bergeron - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 19:05
1. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Holding the Stick) - 0:53
2. Boston - Pastrnak - (High Sticking) - 9:41
3. Boston - Backes - (Interference) - 10:37
4. Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Hooking) - 12:19
5. Boston - Vatrano - (Tripping) - 18:48
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 29Boston - 31