Koepke Scores His First, and the Lightning Take Down the Caps.
By Jake Ricker
The Lightning to rebound after a bad loss as they took on the Washington Capitals. Here is how the lines shaped up against the Caps:
The Lightning got needed to have a strong start, and that's exactly what they got. Just a few minutes into the game, Sergachev rifled one from the point to take an early 1-0 lead. The Lightning kept up the quick pace commanding the game. Their strong play would then be rewarded as Washington was called for a trip sending the Bolts to the power play. Despite the recent power play woes, the Lightning cashed in as Kucherov blasted one from the right circle to make it 2-0.
Time continued to wind down, and the Lightning kept cruising as a few minutes later, Nick Perbix threw one on net that was deflected off a caps player and into the net for a 3-0 Lightning lead. The Capitals would get a chance to get things back on track as the Lightning headed to the penalty box. The Lightning would shut down the Capital's power play and hold their three-goal lead.
Just a few minutes later, the Lightning got right back to work and would draw another penalty sending them to their second power play of the night. While the Lightning were unable to set things up early, they eventually settled down the puck, and Sergachev blasted another one from the point to extend their lead to four. Time would then run out and the Lightning headed into the locker room feeling good.
It wasn't the hot start like the first, but the Lighting mainly controlled the pace of the game. They continued to pick up some quality chances. Kucherov would take a tripping penalty midway through the period giving the Capitals a chance to get on the board. Special teams were playing well tonite, so Washington was not able to get anything going.
Ovechkin then high-sticked Stamkos and drew blood, making it a four-minute double minor. The Lightning picked up multiple chances on the man advantage but could not find the back of the net on this one. The Capitals then finally got on the board as Sheary slid one Past Vasilevskiy.
Things then got chippy after a hit on Koepke that drew a crowd. The Lighting would receive an extra penalty after the scrum sending Washington to the power play. The man advantage didn't last long, though, as Washington was then called for a hook making it 4-on-4. Time would then expire, and the Lightning would head into the Third with a 4-1 lead.
The third would start with 4-on-4 hockey, but this time a few seconds into the period, Kucherov would take yet another penalty, and the Capitals would get a shortened power play. Once again, the Lightning held Washington to just a few chances and kept them off the broad.
Despite the Lightning being the better team, they continued to give Washington opportunities to get back into this game as Hagel was called for interference. Despite these opportunities, the Lightning penalty kill was on a roll, and they weren't stopping now, reaming perfect on the PK.
The Lightning kept on pushing and were looking to get back their four-goal lead. Cole Koepke rang one off the post, but a few minutes later, Hagel scored, only for the replay to show it was actually Koepke who scored after his shot hit the post! So Koepke had his first NHL goal, and the Lightning led 5-1.
The Capitals would get a second goal after a quick snapshot got past Vasilevskiy, but the Bolts grabbed it right back as Nick Paul fired one into the empty net. The Flood gates for scoring apparently had now opened as the Lightning turned over the puck, and the Capitals capitalized to make it 6-3. Time would then run out, and the Lightning would pick up the win.
The Lightning played a fantastic first two periods, controlling play and getting out in front quickly. The Power play looked much better with the change in personnel, and the penalty kill was perfect. The only issue came in the last few minutes when the defense started to fall asleep and let Washington score twice.
Cole Koepke got his first NHL goal in this game, and Perbix continued his hot stream with a goal. Overall it was a great game, and the Lightning continued to play well in the month of November.
Our Three Stars
1. Perbix (TBL)
2. Koepke (TBL)
3. Sergachev (TBL)
Media's Three Stars
2. Kucherov (TBL)
3. Sergachev (TBL)
The Lightning's next game will be against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, November 15th, at 7 PM ET.
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