Well, that was fun!
Corey Perry, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat & Alex Killorn each scored, Nikita Kucherov chipped in two incredible assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.
Kucherov, who had been out since October 16th with a lower-body injury, returned to the lineup and was serenaded with a slew of "Kuuuuuuch" chants before, during and after the game.
His two assists came in the third period, setting up Point at 2:52 to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead and then Palat at 10:10 to put Tampa Bay up three.
Following the game, he was awarded the First Star of the Game. (Video below)
Neither team scored in a very competitive first period, with each team getting one power play opportunity. The Lightning did have four shots on their man-advantage -- with the return of Kucherov's presence giving the home team a clear lift -- and 14 total for the period.
The Lightning finally got on the board at 12:21 of the 2nd period, and damn, was it a thing of beauty.
A strong pass from Victor Hedman sprung Pierre-Edouard Bellemare into the offensive zone. The veteran Lightning forward found a streaking Perry flying towards the net & Scorey Perry fired one past Flames goalie Dan Vladar for his 10th goal of the season to put the Bolts up 1-0.
A little over two minutes later, Calgary's Brad Richardson hit Mathieu Joseph up high, which caused Boris Katchouk to come over and stick up for his teammate. Richardson and Katchouk were both assessed five minutes for fighting, while Richardson was also given a match penalty for his hit on Joseph and Katchouk received a two-minute minor for instigating. Following two minutes of four-on-four action, the Lightning had a three-minute power play but were unable to beat Vladar.
Point's goal gave the Bolts some breathing room before Palat's tally put the game out of reach.
Killorn scored 14 seconds after the Palat goal to put the Bolts up 4-0.
Calgary's Dillon Dube scored at the 15:54 mark to rob Vasilevskiy of his third shutout of the season.
Vladar made 29 saves in defeat for the Flames.
Hey Hey Blake!! - Earlier today former Lightning & current Flames forward Blake Coleman received his Stanley Cup ring. During the 1st TV timeout, a video package was played for Blake in his return to Amalie Arena for the first time since winning the Cup. Check out the video BELOW!!
- Tampa Bay - Perry - (Bellemare, Hedman) - 12:21
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Kucherov, McDonagh) - 2:52
- Tampa Bay - Palat - (Kucherov) - 10:10
- Tampa Bay - Killorn - (Stamkos, McDonagh) - 10:24
- Calgary - Dube - (Monahan, Kylington) - 15:54
- Calgary - MAJOR - Hanifin - (Fighting) - 10:08
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Joseph - (Fighting) - 10:08
- Tampa Bay - Joseph - (Roughing) - 10:08
- Calgary - Richardson - (Faceoff Violation) - 16:58
- Calgary - MAJOR - Richardson - (Fighting) - 14:41
- Calgary - MATCH PENALTY - Richardson - 14:41
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Katchouk - (Fighting) - 14:41
- Tampa Bay - Katchouk - (Instigator) - 14:41
- Tampa Bay - Raddysh - (Delay of Game) - 7:14
- Calgary - Gaudreau - (Roughing) - 10:24
- Tampa Bay - Stamkos - (Roughing) - 10:24
- Tampa Bay - Cernak - (Roughing) - 10:24
- Calgary - MAJOR - Gudbranson - (Fighting) - 15:59
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Maroon - (Fighting) - 15:59
- Calgary - Andersson - (High Sticking) - 18:41
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Saturday night as they welcome the Boston Bruins to Amalie Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm with the pregame show starting at 6:00pm on Lightning Powerplay & NewsRadio WFLA.
PHOTO : Getty Images