Lightning Defeat Sharks 4-3 in Final Game of West Coast Trip.



By Jake Ricker


The Lightning looked to finish their west coast road trip with wins in two out of three games against the San Jose Sharks. Here were the lines for the game against the Shakrs:


Hagel-Point-Kucherov

Stamkos-Paul-Killorn

Koepke-Namestnikov-Colton

Maroon-Bellemare-Perry


Hedman-Cernak

Sergachev-Perbix

Cole-Foote


Vasilevskiy


1st Period

The Lightning got off to an excellent start after, just minutes into the game, Victor Hedman snapped one past Reimer for a 1-0 lead. The Shakrs didn't like that and quickly got to work as Erik Karlsson fired one into the back of the net to tie the game at one. So after just 53 seconds, both teams already got themselves on the board.


The Lightning continued to have good shifts in the offensive zone but were unable to find the back of the net. This has been an issue for the first line over the past few games, and it continued in this period. The Lightning would then get a chance on the power play, as the Sharks would get two for tripping. The Lightning put on a flurry of shots towards the end of the power play but just after it expired, Ross Colton fired home a rebound to take a 2-1 lead.


The Lightning then took a penalty of their own as Maroon got two for cross-checking. The Bolts PK unit stood strong and did a great job of killing this one off. The Lightning got a few more chances late in the period, but time would run out, and the Lightning took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.


2nd Period

The Sharks got the early pressure in the second, but Vasilevskiy was ready, making a few nice stops. After a few minutes, the Sharks would not let up as they controlled the pace of the second. They would then be rewarded as the Sharks fired a quick one past Vasilevskiy to tie the game at two. Vasilevskiy had played well in this game and on the road trip overall, but this is one he probably wants back.


The Lightning then had one of their better shifts of the period as they looked to get back their lead. Now in the second half of the period, you could tell the Lightning had found their footing as they put up back-to-back strong shifts. Despite the strong play, the Lightning could not grab the lead as time winded down.


And the chances just kept on coming. Kucherov nearly scored on a wrap-around, then Cernak blasted one after walking right down the middle of the ice, but everything was stopped by Reimer. The Lightning would finally break through, though, as Killorn fired one home to give the Bolts a 3-2 lead. Time then ran out in the second, and the Lightning again held a one-goal lead going into the intermission.

3rd Period

The Sharks made an early push, but Vasilevskiy made a few saves to keep the Lightning up by one. Hedman would then take a hooking call, and the Lightning would have to kill off the penalty. Unfotenrtly the Sharks wasted no time as Karlsson blasted one past Vasilevskiy to tie the game at three.


Things tightened up for both sides after this one was tied. Both teams did not want to make the next mistake as it would likely be the game-winner. The Sharks then made a big push with under 10 minutes to go, but Vasilevskiy and the Lightning defense stood tall and kept the game tied.


Kucherov was then called for tripping, and the Lightning would need a big penalty kill. The Sharks got plenty of chances on the man advantage, but the Bolts came up big and killed it off. The Lightning would then get a big chance of their own as the Sharks were called for holding. The Sharks killed this one off despite some chances by the second unit.


The Lightning didn't let up, though, as Hagel made a great pass to Kucherov, who then buried it for a 4-3 Lightning lead. Time then expired, and the Bolts would head home with a win.



Final thoughts

The Lightning typically struggle in early games, but they came out strong in this one. Despite the Sharks constantly battling back, the Lightning kept their foot on the gas and got the win. Brandon Hagel has been especially impressive in these last few games, as he picks up another two assists in this game.


The Lightning had some issues in the faceoff circle, and special teams weren't great, but overall it was a solid effort, and to come home with 4 out of 6 points on the west coast trip is a good thing.


Three Stars

1. Kucherov (1G)

2. Karlsson (2G)

3. Hedman (1G)


The Lightning's next game will be against the Ottowa Senators on Tuesday, November 1st, at 7 PM ET.



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