The Tampa Bay Lightning (13-2-2) knocked off the Los Angeles Kings (11-3-2) 5-2 on Saturday night in the second game of a California back to back.
It is would be difficult to script a better start to this game then the one Tampa Bay orchestrated in the first period. After a brilliant save by Peter Budaj, starting in net as Andrei Vasilevskiy had started in San Jose on Wednesday evening, the Lightning made some franchise history. Four goals in a two minute and two second stretch - first from Nikita Kucherov, then Alex Killorn, then Victor Hedman, then Steven Stasmkos - gave the Lightning a 4-0 lead and put Tampa Bay well in control. Though the Kings would push back as the game went along, that stretch proved to be too much for Los Angeles to overcome.
Tyler Toffoli scored to make it 4-1 at the 17:31 mark in the second period, and it appeared the Kings would pull within 4-2 late in that period - however, the Lightning challenged for goaltender interference and the Kings goal was called back. Oscar Fantenberg did pull the Kings within 4-2 midway through the third period, but Vladislav Namestnikov scored at the 12:59 mark of the third period to give the Bolts a 5-2 lead and some breathing room down the stretch of this game.
Peter Budaj saved 22-of-24 shots in net for Tampa Bay against his former team, while Jonathan Quick was excellent save for that brutal 2:02 stretch in the first. He finished with 38 saves on 43 shots on net, as the Lightning had a season high in shots as part of this outburst.
The Lightning's California swing continues on Sunday night when they take on the Ducks in Anaheim. Faceoff on Sunday night is scheduled for 8:00 and can be heard beginning at 7:30 on News Radio 970 WFLA.
1. TBL - Kucherov - (Stamkos, Koekkoek) - 9:27
2. TBL - Killorn - (Girardi, Johnson) - 10:01
3. TBL - Hedman - (Gourde, Palat) - 10:35
4. TBL - PPG - Stamkos - (Killorn, Kucherov) - 11:29
1. LAK - Toffoli - (Kopitar, Muzzin) - 17:31
1. LAK - Fantenberg - (Brown, Laich) - 8:39
2. TBL - Namestnikov - (Hedman, Kucherov) - 12:59
1. TBL - Killorn - (Slashing) - 1:42
2. LAK - Dowd - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 8:21
3. TBL - Hedman - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) - 8:21
4. LAK - Amadio - (Delay of Game) - 10:35
1. LAK - Muzzin - (High Sticking) - 2:13
2. LAK - Andreoff - (Slashing) - 6:36
3. TBL - Namestnikov - (Cross Checking) - 6:36
4. LAK - Doughty - (Tripping) - 12:00
5. LAK - Martinez - (Hooking) - 16:20
6. TBL - Stamkos - (Interference) - 16:55
1. TBL - Gourde - (Interference) - 14:14
2. LAK - Quick - (Tripping) - 17:05
SHOTS ON GOAL
Tampa Bay - 43
Los Angeles - 24