Well, that's why they're the champs.
Oscar Sundqvist scored a pair of goals and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves as the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.
The score was tied at two after two periods of play, but a goal by Zach Sanford at 8:21 and a power play goal by Brayden Schenn at 11:07 secured the victory for St. Louis.
Brayden Point scored a goal on the man-advantage to bring Tampa Bay within one, but that's as close as they got to tying it up.
It was a pretty even start to the game, but the Lightning got the first great scoring chance early in the first.
Binnington made a good pad save on Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat was all over the rebound. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Palat's follow-up was snared by the glove of the St. Louis netminder and the game remained scoreless.
The only other major scoring chance in the opening stanza came from St. Louis' Jaden Schwartz on the rebound, but Vasilevskiy slid over to make the save.
The start of the second period was very similar to the first, until Kucherov gave the Lightning the lead.
After a clean faceoff win by Brayden Point, Kucherov took the puck to the middle of the ice and fired a shot on net. The puck
Sanford was whistled for a slashing penalty just 31 seconds later, and Tampa Bay looked to double their advantage, but it was St. Louis who would strike next.
Sundqvist chipped a puck past Victor Hedman, came down all alone on a breakaway, and beat Vasilevskiy to the glove-side at the 5:31 mark to knot the score at one.
Just over three minutes later, Sundqvist got another one.
The St. Louis center found the puck along the right wing and fired a slapshot that somehow found its way through Vasilevskiy to give the Blues a 2-1 lead.
Just under three minutes later, Anthony Cirelli showed the kind of grit and tenacity that has made him a fan favorite.
Kucherov threw a shot on net that Ryan McDonagh deflected and Binnington couldn't corral. Cirelli beat St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko to the puck by using a full-extension dive and he knocked the puck past Binnington to tie the score at two apiece.
Vasilevskiy made 29 saves in the defeat.
OSCAR OVER AND OUT : After his second goal, Sundqvist left the game with a lower-body injury late in the second period and did not return.
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Point) - 3:53
- St. Louis - SHG - Sundqvist - (Barbashev, Bouwmeester) - 5:31
- St. Louis - Sundqvist (2) - (Barbashev, Bozak) - 8:40
- Tampa Bay - Cirelli - (McDonagh, Kucherov) - 11:39
- St. Louis - Sanford - (Barbashev, Bozak) - 8:21
- St. Louis - PPG - Schenn - (O'Reilly, Perron) - 11:07
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Point - (Kucherov, Shattenkirk) - 14:23
- St. Louis - Sanford - (Slashing) - 4:24
- St. Louis - Pietrangelo - (Slashing) - 15:29
- St. Louis - Perron - (Tripping) - 0:30
- Tampa Bay - Killorn - (Slashing) - 9:02
- Tampa Bay - Gourde - (Tripping) - 9:18
- St. Louis - Thomas - (Tripping) - 13:12
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Friday night as they travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Capitals. Puck drop is slated for 5:00pm with the pregame show starting at 4:30pm on NewsRadio WFLA.