Lightning Outlast Bruins 3-2
By Michael Wax
The Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2, extending their home winning streak to 11, tying a franchise record, and handing the Bruins their sixth regulation loss of the season. Here are a three things we noticed from the win.
The Lightning's Triple C's put together one of the games of the year, with Anthony Cirelli, Eric Cernak, and Ross Colton all providing value in different ways for the Lightning in their tightly-contested victory. Cirelli had one of the best defensive games of his shortened season, outdoing all-time legend Patrice Bergeron in the faceoff circle while sacrificing his body to block shots and keeping players like superstar David Pastrnak out of prime scoring areas.
Cernak was his usual, dependable self in the defensive zone, being very meticulous in his actions and limiting his mistakes. Ross Colton provided energy and efficiency in the offensive zone, at times crossing the limit like his penalty but mostly providing a much-needed spark for the Lightning at moments where the Bruins were pushing the pace of play. The Triple C's had a fantastic game, and hopefully their excellence continues as the lightning push forward towards the trade deadline.
One game after registering his 250th career victory, Andrei Vasilevskiy suited up for his 400th NHL game against the Bruins. He became the first lightning goaltender in history with 400 games played, and rewarded the Lighting with a 37-of-39 save performance against the league's top team. He was called upon to make a few very difficult saves in the final couple of minutes, and he answered the bell like he has many times in the past.
While Vasilevskiy's played an amount of games someone say is too much for this point in the season, it's all about getting the wins to get the Lighting in the best position come April. Next stop: win No. 300
Victor Hedman has had a very difficult season to say the least. Whether it was his offense production coming to a grinding called in November (2 points in the whole month), or his defensive game slipping to the point of unrecognizability, Hedman's play has desired more from the lightning fan base. Even in this game, Hedman had a few questionable plays and positioning that allowed Boston some scoring chances. Luckily for Hedmen, the Lightning needed a hero as the game winded down in the third period.
Trailing the play behind Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, Hedman was able to find the loose puck and bury a rebound past goaltender Linus Ullmark. while this was just Hedman's third goal of the season, it seemed like a real confidence booster in a season where he's had an extreme amount of trouble putting together back-to-back solid games.
1. Hedman (TBL)
2. Vasilevskiy (TBL)
3. Kucherov (TBL)
The Lightning's next game will be against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, January 28, at 7 PM.
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