By Jake Ricker
Before the game the Lightning announced that Steven Stamkos would miss last nights game. While many Bolts fans heard their breath reading that sentence, Stamkos absence was a good one as he flew back to Tampa to be with his wife, who was expecting their second child!
The Bolts came ready to play in this one as, just a few minutes into the game, they brought the pressure early. Three minutes into this game, the Lightning would strike first as Anthony Cirelli crashed the net and found the rebound to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning continued their dominance of the first period as they did not let their foot off the gas. The Bolts would then get a chance on the power play, and despite not having three of their top players, Cirelli hit the post, and Corey Perry did what he does best and put the rebound home for a 2-0 lead.
The Bolts weren't done yet, though, as just five seconds after the Perry goal Eric Cernak shot the puck off the boards, and it somehow bounced into the net to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead.
The Blues would finally calm things down, but the Bolts dominated this entire period and would head into the second with a three-goal lead and all of the momentum.
Check out all three of the Bolts goals here:
The Blues completely flipped the script in the second period and took a page out of the Bolts book as just three minutes into the period Ryan O'Reilly sniped one past Elliott to cut the Bolts lead to two.
The Blues continued their pressure forcing the Bolts on their heels. Then six minutes into the period Logan Brown scored his first goal of the season to cut the Bolts lead to one.
The pressure didn't stop there as the Blues forced Elliott to make a few good saves and keep the Lightning up by one. The Bolts would finally start to get some chances of their own later in the period, but you could tell the Blues held all the momentum.
The Blues picked up right where they left off as Ivan Barbashev capitalized on the power play just over a minute into the game to tie things up.
The Bolts were then Abel to respond with a few shots on net, but all the momentum was with the Blues. McDonagh then had a golden opportunity with a wide-open net, but his shot got blocked, and the game would remain tied.
With under 10 minutes to go in the game, the Blues picked up the pressure again, but Elliott, who let in some tough goals, locked things down with some excellent saves to keep the Bolts in this game. Both teams would then battle it out with chances on either end of the ice. The Lightning would get an opportunity on the power play, but without three of their top players, they were unable to convert.
With under a minute left, the Blues would get one last big chance, but Elliott would come up big and hold on and help send this one to overtime giving both teams a point.
The Bolts would get off to a good start in overtime as their pressure caused the Blues to take an early penalty and give the Lightning a four-on-three power play. The Lightning got a few great looks on net, but the Blues held down the fort and are able to kill off the penalty.
The Bolts then got a few more looks on net, but neither team was able to end it in overtime, and this one would have to be settled in the shootout.
Elliott made two saves in the shootout but Ryan O'Reilly's goal was enough to give the Blues the win in the shootout.
33 Shots on Goal. 37
48 Face-off % 53
1/3 Power play 1/3
8 PIM 8
17 Hits 15
13 Blocks 14
3 Giveaways 9
11 Takeaways 4
Our Three Stars
1. O'Reilly (STL)
2. Binnington (STL)
3. Elliott (TBL)
Media's Three Stars
1. O'Reilly (STL)
2. Binnington (STL)
3. Brown (STL)
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