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Lightnin's Comeback Falls Short Against Knights in OT.

By Jake Ricker

The Lightning took on the Vegas Golden Knights last night as they looked to get their second straight win. Victor Hedman and Pierre-Édouard Bellemare would again be out of the lineup for the Lightning. Here are a few things we noticed from the overtime loss.

Offensive Pressure

The Lightning were buzzing right from the drop of the puck, and this continued throughout the game. There were multiple times throughout the game where the Bolts held the puck in the offensive zone and created some quality chances from sustained offensive zone time. Over the last few weeks, the Lightning have been unable to get clean breakout passes and zone entries. Tonight was different. Their play looked smooth and fast, and even though the offense wasn't able to come through until late, they looked like a different team.

Power Play

The Lightning have the second-ranked power play in the NHL at 26.1%. They are even better at home at 32% (2nd best). However, tonight things did not go as well. The Lightning had trouble making clean entries, and even when they did, Jonathan Quick was able to make the necessary saves. The failed entries, in turn, made the Lightning have a difficult time even getting set up. On top of that, some power plays were also cut short due to other penalties taken by the Lightning.

With Victor Hedman still out of the lineup, this has forced Serachev to quarterback both of the power play units. While Sergachev has been good on power play one this year, not having Hedmans power full shot at the blue line is still a big piece that is missing. The Lightning have been very good when it comes to the man advantage, so one bad game should not be too much of a concern moving forward.

Physical Play

Ever since Tanner Jeannot and Mikey Eyssimont have joined the team, we have seen an increase in the team's grittiness. Jeannot's presence alone has forced teams to think twice about taking a run at any of our players. Tonight we say Eyssimont and his linemates step up as well.

It what was a very physical game, we got a full-line brawl after a few hits that players took objection to. Eyssimont, Perry, Maroon, Bogosian, and Fleury all were given game misconducts along with the other Vegas players on the ice after the fight.

The Lightning finished with 36 hits in this game. It was a playoff atmosphere, and both teams were throwing their body to make sure they could get any advantage in this game. JBB said he wanted to make the Lightning a more difficult team to play against, and it's clear that message was received.


The Lightning never gave up in this game, and despite being down two goals, they kept fighting. As mentioned before, the Lightning had some fantastic pressure, but it wasn't until they pulled Vasilevskiy that they were able to get the puck in the back of the net. Both goals were fantastic plays, with the first being a rocket from Kucherov and the second being a slap pass from Kucherov to Point into a wide-open net as Killorn leaped for the stars to avoid blocking the shot. The Lightning did a great job of winning faceoffs and moving the puck to tie up this game and force overtime.

Overtime has not been friendly to the Lightning, but the good news is they won't have to deal with it come playoff time. The Lightning had some great chances early but were unable to capitalize. The Lightning then got stuck on a long shift, and Vegas took advantage and scored the game-winning goal. Vasilevskiy would probably like this one back as the puck trickled past him. Despite the bad goal, it's hard to be upset with him, considering how many times he has bailed out the team.

And while it did initially look like Hagel was tripped, after watching replays, Hagel, unfortunately, took a fall while trying to get the puck out. Cooper only confirmed this in his press conference, saying Hagel got "toe picked."

While Stamkos wasn't the main reason the Lightning lost this time in OT, we do have to point out he has been on the ice for the last three overtime losses this season. Maybe he should take a break from playing 3-on-3 just in case he has some bad luck!

Final Thoughts

Overall the Lightning played very well. They played hard, had great chances, and never laid down. In a rare occurrence, Quick outplayed Vasilevskiy tonight, as there were probably at least two goals Vasy could have had. Kucherov and Point continued their great play offensively, and even though the power play struggled, the one goal they did have was a critical one in the comeback.

At the end of the day, the Lightning needed to get their game back, and they did just that tonight. If the Lightning can again continue to build off this, they will be well on their way to being the Lightning team we all know so well.

Three Stars

Media’s three stars

1. Quick (34SV 3GA)

2. Point (2G, 1A)

3. Kucherov (1G, 2A)

Our three stars

1. Point (2G, 1A)

2. Martinez (GWG)

3. Kucherov (1G, 2A)

The Lightning's next game will be against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, March 11th, at 7:00 PM ET.

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