By Jake Ricker
The Lightning looked to start their four-game home stand on the right foot as they took on the Ottowa Senators. The Lightning would be without Victor Hedman as he was dealing with some minor issues. Here is how the lines shaped up with him out of the lineup:
This game had a lot of buzz early, with both teams playing hard on the first shift. This was only confirmed after Maroon dropped the gloves with Watson. While the Lightning were playing well, things took an unfortunate turn after a turnover. Gambrell ended up with the puck all alone in front, and he put it past Vasilevskiy for a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning then got a chance on the power play after the Senators took a charging penalty. Ross Colton got one great look, but nothing much else was happening on this power play. The Lightning kept pushing, and they had chance after chance. Nothing seemed to go in, and the Senators held onto their one-goal lead.
Things then began to get chippy as Alex Killorn was taken down awkwardly, and the Lightning wanted a boarding call. None was made, and the players were hot. The Senators then finally got a few chances on net, but the Lightning quickly took back the puck. The Lightning then got a late chance on the power play as the Senators were called for interference. They wouldn't be able to capitalize quickly as time ran out in the period.
The Lightning would kick off the period with 1:28, remaining on the man advantage as they looked to tie the game up. It was more of the same for the Lightning, as they had plenty of chances but none that found the back of the net. They would get to go right back to the power play as the Senators were called for a high stick. The Lightning then finally broke through as Sergachev blasted on from the point to tie the game at one.
The Senators then got their first power play chance after the Lightning were called for cross-checking. The penalty-killing unit did a great job of killing this one off, though, and the game would stay tied at one. The parade to the penalty box continued as Cernak was shaken up after a side swipe hit. The penalty would be called a major, and Gambrell would be ejected from the game.
The Lightning had a great chance to take a big lead, and they quickly got to work. Despite getting on the board earlier, the Lightning still couldn't get the puck into the back of the net. Then things got sloppy. The Bolts continued to try to make that extra pass, and the puck was cleared because of it. Despite the struggles, the Senators would take another penalty giving the Lightning a 5-on-3. But once again, they either couldn't finish on their chances or got too cute. After all that, Joseph got a breakaway and scored to make it 2-1.
The Lightning had a five-minute man advantage and an extended 5-on-3 and did nothing with it. They were then given a shot at redemption after yet another Senators penalty. This time though, the Lightning just ended the power play early after taking a penalty of their own. Everything would be killed off, and Vasilevskiy would have to make one last unbelievable save on a two on zero.
The Senators then took their seventh penalty of the game, giving the Lightning yet another power play. Stop us if you have heard this one before. The Lightning got nothing going on the man advantage, and the Senators killed it off. Apparently, the Senators were going for the penalty record as they were then called for interference. But as you might have guessed, the Lightning couldn't do anything on the power play.
The penalties kept on coming, but this time Foote was called for interference, and it was the Senators who would head to the power play. The Lightning successfully killed this one off, and we were back to 5-on-5. Just when you thought things settled down, they ramped right back up.
After a big push, Alex Killorn fired home a rebound to tie the game. But just seconds later, Vasilevskiy tried to play the puck, and the Senators stole it from him for a wide-open net and a 3-2 lead. Brayden Point had enough, as he responded himself, flying into the zone and lifting one past Forsberg to tie the game at three.
The Lightning didn't stop there. Sergachev got the puck to a wide-open Kucherov, who sniped the puck past Forsberg and gave the Lightning a late 4-3 lead. The senators would pull Forsberg for one last push. Nick Paul then took the puck the other way and put it into the empty net, or so they thought. The goal would be called back for offsides and the Senators still trailed by just one. Time would run out on this one, though, and the Lightning got the win.
This was a crazy game. The Lightning played very well in the first getting chance after chance. Yet they found themselves trailing by one. The second was not so good. A five-minute power play with an extended 5-on-3, and you can't score a goal. But to make it worse, the Senators score shorthanded. Then the third period looks to be more of the same, but they never give up and come back to win 4-3.
Getting two points against a divisional opponent is huge, and at the end of the day, a win is a win. But the Lightning have some major work to do on the power play and can't be doing this late into the season.
1. Kucherov (1G,2A)
2. Point (1G,1A)
3. Joseph (1G)
The Lightning's next game will be against the Carollina Hurricanes on Thursday, November 3rd, at 7 PM ET.
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