By Jake Ricker
The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up their third win of the season and their first in regulation. This win moves the Bolts to 4th place in the Atlantic Division. While the game wasn't perfect, the Bolts looked much better after a lackluster performance in buffalo. Let take a look at how this game played out and what the Bolts did well.
The first period saw both teams have their fair share of opportunities, but Vasy and Jarry turned all those chances away. The Penguins then thought they had the first goal late in the first after a shot handcuffed Vasy and is then put in the back of the net. However, due to a quick whistle, the play had already been blown dead, and the game remained scoreless.
The first goal would come early in the second period as Brayden Point made a beautiful backhand shot at 00:31 into the period. This would be the first time the Bolts scored first in a game this season which is. a nice monkey to get off their back.
The Penguins would not let the Lightning build off this momentum as they got right back to work trying to tie this game; however, it's the Lightning that strike again with Palat putting a snapshot into the net at 11:18 to give the Bolts a two-goal lead. Just 10 seconds later, the Bolts scored yet another goal as Stamkos found McDonagh, who blasted the puck home for a three-nothing lead.
The Lighting would then head into the third period with a lead for the first time this season. This gave the Bolts to play a style of hockey that we had not seen all season, and that is shut down hockey. The Lightning mostly played the third safe and continued to play a dump and chance style as the clocked ticked down.
The Penguins would then try to pull the goalie to give them some life, but it was Sergachev at 16:55 to make it 4-0 as he scores on the empty net. Vasy, unfortunately, would not come away with a shutout in this one as ABB took a late penalty, which the Penguins capitalized on. Zucker, who was in front of the net, put home a rebound to make it a 4-1 hockey game at 17:43 in the third. Alex Killorn would pick up one last empty-net goal at 18:55 to put this one away by a score of 5-1.
What went wrong
The Lightning have continued to take way too many penalties with four total tonight. This is an issue the Bolts have dealt with for what feels like their entire existence, and it doesn't look like it's going away. Luckily the Bolts have a fantastic PK, but you would really like to see them take fewer penalties.
The Power play also continues to struggle for the Bolts, especially without Kucherov. While they only had two chances tonight, they failed to convert on either of them, and they just aren't getting a ton of good opportunities. Whether it's changing the lines or coming up with a new system, something has to change for the Bolts on the power play.
What went well
The Bolts finally got off to the start they wanted as they were able to score the first goal of this game. Because of that, they then were able to play the style of hockey they were used to playing for a large part of the past few seasons. They continued to get good pressure and only extended their lead in the latter periods.
The Penalty kill did give up one late, but it was a six-on-five late in the game. They successfully killed off another three penalties and have continued to be a bright spot for the team.
Vasy nearly had his first shutout of the season, but that was unfortunately foiled late in the game with a Penguins power-play goal. While he still looks a little off from last season, tonight looked like vintage Vasy as he made some amazing saves and kept the Pens off the broad for basically the entire game.
Our Three Stars:
Third - McDonagh (TBL)
Second - Palat (TBL)
First - Vasilevskiy (TBL)
Media's Three Stars:
Third - Sergachev (TBL)
Second - Vasilevskiy (TBL)
First - Palat (TBL)
The Lightning will now head home to take on the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night and win back-to-back games for the second time this season. While Arizona may not be a great team, they can not be overlooked as the Lightning continue to work on their team chemistry and smooth out some issues.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @BoltReport_TB for live game coverage and other news from the Bolts. Want to start your career in Journalism by writing about you favorite team? Send us a message on Twitter or click on the contact us page to send us a message and get started today.