When you shoot the puck good things are bound to happen sooner or later. That was the story for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Bolts had over 30 shots on goal heading to the final period, but only had 1 goal to show for it in a tie game. The lack of goals didn’t diminish the pressure the Bolts continued to put on the San Jose Sharks. San Jose started to crumble a bit under that pressure in the final period and the Bolts took control. Tyler Johnson was the hero as he scored twice in the 1st half of the period to take and extend the lead for the Lightning in a 5-2 victory.
The Lightning dominated the scoring chances for the majority of the period. With just 5 minutes left in the frame the Bolts held an 11-4 SOG advantage. Shortly after that San Jose turned it on. The put the puck on the net and good things happened. Barclay Goodrow was able to put it past Andrei Vasilevskiy after a pad save rebound. That late period goal gave the road team the lead heading to the 2nd after a sound 1st from both squads.
It didn’t take long for the Bolts to strike in the 2nd. It was the Bolts’ leading goal scorer who got the job done. Nikita Kucherov tied the game up just 27 seconds into the period. The Tampa Bay scoring chances wouldn’t slow down for the rest of the period. The Bolts followed up their 15-shot 1st period with a 16-shot performance in the 2nd. That early goal was all they would get though. Martin Jones was outstanding for San Jose and really kept his team in the game. Vasilevskiy had to make his fair share of saves to keep the game tied as well. The biggest probably came on a Joe Thornton shot as a Sharks’ power play was ending. Those plays from the goalies sent us to the final period still tied at 1.
The Bolts started the final period on the power play thanks to a Thornton penalty right at the end of the 2nd. A Bolt who hasn’t been having the season up to his standards was the 1 who came through. Tyler Johnson got his 5th goal of the year on that power play to put Tampa Bay on top for the 1st time of the night. Johnson wasn’t done there either. Just moments later, Johnny added his 2nd of the night right after San Jose made a miraculous play to keep the puck out of the net. Tampa Bay’s pressure from the 1st 2 periods just continued and the Bolts ended the night with over 40 shots on goal. The Bolts 4th goal came on their 40th shot of the night. Cory Conacher made the most of his chance to play with Cedric Paquette’s suspension with his 2nd of the year. Justin Braun’s 1st goal of the year made it a 2-goal deficit late, but Tampa Bay was already firmly in control of the victory. They proved that when Kucherov added his 2nd goal of the game to get the lead back to 3.
The Bolts will have the next few days off before continuing this homestand on Tuesday. The Bolts will welcome the New York Islanders to Amalie Arena. Face-off is scheduled for 7:30 with pregame coverage beginning an hour prior on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. SJS - Goodrow - (O’Regan, Carpenter) - 16:58
1. TBL - Kucherov - (Palat, Point) - 0:27
1. TBL - PPG - Johnson - (Palat, Sergachev) - 1:39
2. TBL - Johnson - (Unassisted) - 5:49
3. TBL - Conacher - (Killorn, Gourde) - 11:01
4. SJS - Braun - (O’Regan) - 13:37
5. TBL - Kucherov - (Unassisted) - 15:37
1. SJS - Dillon - (Interference) - 7:58
2. TBL - Killorn - (Slashing) - 9:01
3. SJS - Thornton - (High Sticking) - 19:56
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 43
San Jose - 26