By Jake Ricker
The Lightning took on the Columbus Blue Jackets night as they looked to bounce back from a two game losing streak. Hedman would return to the lineup after the birth of his second child, hoping to celebrate with a win. Here are a few things we noticed from each period.
The Lightning got off to a great start which was expected after Cooper was frustrated with the team's recent performance. The Lightning put on a clinic in the first with 19 shots on goal and scored twice to give them an early lead.
The biggest story of the first was Kucherov's brilliance. While working in the offensive zone, Kucherov blasted a slap shot that was blocked. The puck later came back to him, and Kucherov set up for a slapshot again. This time Kucherov had other plans as he pulled another one of his "slap-passes" right to Nick Paul, who deflected the puck home.
While this period wasn't as dominating as the first, the Lightning still controlled the pace of the period. The Blue Jackets did score to cut the Bolt's lead to one, but the Lightning did a great job of responding and taking back control of the momentum.
Namestnikov would also score his third of the season, getting the Bolt's lead back to two. He took advantage of a turnover and then made a great move on a breakaway to get the puck in the back of the net. Namestnikov has struggled this season, and this was a much-needed goal to hopefully help break him out of his slump.
The Flood gates opened in this period despite the Blue Jackets making it a one-goal game again. After the Blue Jackets scored, it was all Lightning, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes. It was a great period for the team, and they came away with another two big points at home. This is their 8th straight win at home, and the Lightning improve to 25-13-1 overall.
1. Kucherov (2G,2A)
2. Hedman (2A)
3. Namestnikov (1G)
The Lightning's next game will be against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, January 12th, at 7:00 PM ET.
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