In their final game before the All Star break, the Bolts made a little history.
On Saturday night at Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 for their 12th consecutive win on home ice, setting a new franchise record.
Coming off a very emotional victory over the first place Boston Bruins on Thursday night, one could expect a little bit of a letdown from the Lightning, but they were ready to roll from the jump.
Los Angeles defenseman Sean Walker tried to play the puck behind the net but it was intercepted by Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov quickly fed Brayden Point in front and he snapped one past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to put the Lightning up 1-0 at just 5:02 of the 1st.
The Bolts didn't take long to double their lead.
Just 1:39 after the Point tally, Nick Perbix pinched in at the blue line to keep the puck in and fed a pass to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare lurking just a few feet inside of the blue line. Bellemare fired a wrister that found its way by Quick for a 2-0 Tampa Bay lead.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan cut the Lightning lead in half with a goal at 10:12, but that did not deter Tampa Bay one bit.
Perbix -- who had a career-high three assists on the night -- fired a shot from the point that went off the stuck of L.A.'s Matt Roy & right to Corey Perry at the side of the net, leaving Quick well out of position. The veteran winger fired one into the empty net to give Tampa Bay a two-goal lead once again at 15:57.
A big topic of conversation earlier this week was that the Lightning needed some more scoring from their bottom-six forwards. Well, after two goals from Perry on Tuesday night, the Bolts got one from Bellemare, Perry and then Ross Colton on Saturday.
Colton, all alone in front of the net after taking a shot-pass from Perbix, made a slick move to get around Quick and pick up his 10th goal of the year at 15:20.
The Kings got one back at 19:08 of the 2nd when Phillip Danault backhanded a puck towards the front of the net and Bolts D-man Ian Cole tried to knock the puck out of mid-air & out of danger but he somehow deflected the puck past Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it 4-2.
Vasilevskiy stopped 26 of the 28 shots he saw on the evening for his 23rd win of the season.
Quick made 20 saves in net for the Kings.
Victor Hedman scored at 16:03 of the 3rd to close up the scoring & give him goals in back-to-back games.
- Tampa Bay - Point - (Kucherov) - 5:02
- Tampa Bay - Bellemare - (Perbix) - 6:41
- Los Angeles - Anderson-Dolan - (Fiala) - 10:12
- Tampa Bay - Perry - (Perbix, Namestnikov) - 15:57
- Tampa Bay - Colton - (Perbix, Maroon) - 15:20
- Los Angeles - Danault - (Iafallo, Doughty) - 19:08
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Stamkos, Point) - 16:03
- Los Angeles - Doughty - (Tripping) - 19:41
- Tampa Bay - Kucherov - (Tripping) - 0:46
- Los Angeles - Durzi - (High Sticking) - 9:01
- Tampa Bay - Hedman - (Roughing) - 17:30
- Los Angeles - Danault - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 18:04
- Tampa Bay - Cernak - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 18:04
What's Next For The Bolts : The All Star break. Nikita Kucherov & Andrei Vasilevskiy will head down to Sunrise to represent the Lightning in the All Star Game. Ironically enough, the first game for the team after the break is down in South Florida against the Panthers on Monday February 6th. Puck drop is slated for 7:00pm.