The Tampa Bay Lightning (12-2-2) knocked off the San Jose Sharks (8-6-0) on Wednesday night in San Jose.
The Lightning could not have drawn up a worse start to this hockey game. San Jose absolutely dominated play off the opening faceoff, and Joonas Donskoi scored just twenty-five seconds into this game to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. However, the Lightning took this challenge in stride, and Jake Dotchin scored to tie the game 1-1 at the 7:17 mark.
The Lightning blew this game open in the second period with a dominating performance. It began when Nikita Kucherov scored his 15th goal of the season just fourty-four seconds into the period to lift Tampa Bay to a 2-1 lead. Slater Koekkoek scored at the 9:21 mark to make it 3-1 for the Lightning, and then Vladislav Namestnikov scored to begin to pull the game away for the Bolts. Namestnikov added a second goal in the third period that would lift the Lightning to an impressive 5-1 win for a game they dominated after a tough start.
Andrei Vasilevskiy saved thirty-two of the thirty-three shots the Sharks were able to get on net, while Martin Jones saved 17-of-21 shots in net during the first two periods for San Jose. Aaron Dell came in for the third period for San Jose and saved eight of the nine shots the Lightning got against him.
The Lightning west coast swing continues on Thursday night when they battle the Kings in Los Angeles. Faceoff in that matchup is set for 10:30 and can be heard beginning at 10 PM on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. SJS - Donskoi - (Thornton, Pavelski) - 0:25
2. TBL - Dotchin - (Point, Gourde) - 7:17
1. TBL - Kucherov - (Namestnikov, Stamkos) - 0:44
2. TBL - Koekkoek - (Gourde, Strallman) - 9:21
3. TBL - Namestnikov - (Stamkos, Kucherov) - 12:00
1. TBL - Namestnikov - (Kucherov, Stamkos) - 6:14
1. SJS - Heed - (Holding) - 10:03
2. TBL - Koekkoek - (Slashing) - 16:52
3. SJS - Donskoi - (Slashing) - 18:33
1. TBL - Gourde - (Delaying Game) - 5:00
2. SJS - Jones - (Holding) - 6:42
1. SJS - Thornton - (Holding) - 4:48
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 30
San Jose - 33