It may not make up for the last time these two teams squared off, Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, but this had to feel good for the Lightning.
Brandon Hagel scored two goals & added an assist for a three-point night and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-0 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.
After two troubling losses to the Panthers & Sharks this week, the Bolts needed to play a heck of a lot better against Colorado or they would have been in for a long night.
And that's exactly what they did.
Corey Perry got the scoring started for Tampa Bay,
Perry made a slick move in tight to get to his backhand and slip one past Colorado goaltender Alexandar Georgiev to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 15:15.
The Lightning doubled their lead at 8:32 of the second, on a display of just pure effort.
Alex Killorn flipped the puck high into the Colorado zone and Anthony Cirelli outmuscled/outmaneuvered both Devon Toews AND Samuel Girard to retrieve the puck to the right of Georgiev before sliding it over to Hagel & the Tampa Bay winger smacked it into the empty net for his 20th goal of the season and to put the Bolts up 2-0.
Brayden Point added a power play goal at 10:15 to make it 3-0. It was Point's fifth goal in his last five games and #32 on the season.
Hagel's second was the third of the middle stanza, firing one past Georgiev at 18:07 for 4-0 after a sweet drop pass from Killorn.
Killorn had himself a three-assist night.
Mikhail Sergachev made it five for Tampa Bay, wristing one on net and by the Avalanche netminder at 5:44 of the third period. Pat Maroon -- who played in his 700th game in this one -- provided a great screen in front that left Georgiev with little to no chance to stop or even see the puck.
Georgiev stopped 27 of the 32 shots he saw on the evening.
Get Well Soon Nick : The Lightning announced early in the first period that Nick Paul was "day to day" with an upper-body injury. Paul left the game against the Sharks on Tuesday night in the second period and did not return. He did take part in morning skate earlier on today, but wasn't well enough to play against the Avalanche tonight.
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Perry - (Cirelli, Killorn) - 15:15
- Tampa Bay - Hagel - (Cirelli, Killorn) - 8:32
- Tampa Bay - PPG - Point - (Kucherov, Hagel) - 10:29
- Tampa Bay - Hagel - (Killorn) - 18:07
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (Point, Bellemare) - 5:44
- Colorado - Byram - (Hooking) - 13:37
- Colorado - MAJOR - O'Connor - (Fighting) - 19:06
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Colton - (Fighting) - 19:06
- Tampa Bay - Sergachev - (Hooking) - 19:49
- Tampa Bay - Cole - (Holding) - 5:03
- Colorado - Byram - (Hooking) - 10:15
- Colorado - TEAM - (Delay of Game) - 10:29
- Colorado - Rantanen - (10-Minute Misconduct) - 18:07
- Colorado - MAJOR - MacDermid - (Fighting) - 19:51
- Tampa Bay - MAJOR - Maroon - (Fighting) - 19:51
What's Next For The Bolts : The Lightning are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Texas to take on the Dallas Stars. Puck drop is slated for 1:00pm.
PHOTO : Getty Images