Lightning finding ways to win on the road

By Ken Filler
Jan. 25, 2018

After the 5-2 beat down in Minnesota last weekend when nothing seemed to go right for the Lightning, they seemed to have found their mojo with impressive wins in Chicago and Nashville.

The Lightning in the midst of an 8-game road trip was impressive in shutting out Chicago 2-0. I know the Lightning did not go up against Corey Crawford, but the Blackhawks are still a damn good hockey team and the Lightning were able to get a win in the Windy city.

What was most impressive was the Lightning on the PK as they shut down the Blackhawk attack. Chicago was 0-6 on the PP as the Lightning were very impressive in every facet of the game. Andrei Vasilevskiy was back to his old self getting a league high 28th win and league leading 7th shutout.

In Nashville last night, the second of back to backs for the Lightning it was a tale of two games. The Lightning had a terrible first period and were outshot 13-2. At times it looked as if the Lightning did not even want to be playing in that game as the Lightning were very lucky to be only trailing 2-1 after the period.

The Lightning played much better in the second and managed to tie the game at 2-2 before a PK Subban PP goal in the last minute gave the Predators a 3-2 lead.

The third period belonged to the Lightning. It looked like the sloppy play in the first period would cost the Lightning the game until the captain Steven Stamkos scored his 18th goal of the season at the 17:48 mark of the period to tie the game at 3-3.

Yanni Gourde who is giving Mikhail Sergachev a run for best rookie on the Lightning scored the game winner at the 1:45 mark of OT as the Lightning beat Nashville 4-3 in OT in the Music City.

It’s always great to get a win especially on the road against a good team like Nashville. The lightning continued to struggle at faceoffs and Steve Yzerman might need to look a at adding a good face-off guy. Ryan O’Reilly of Buffalo and Antoine Vermette are the leaders in face-off wins this season. I Don’t think the Sabres would part with O’Reilly, but Vermette of the Anaheim Ducks may be available.

The PK was back to it’s old self as Nashville converted 2/3 chances in the Lightning win. Louis Domingue knotched his second win in a Lightning uniform and is becoming a nice compliment to Vasilevsky. Yzerman will have a tough call to make when Peter Budaj returns. I would not be at all surprised if Budaj is sent to Syracuse or traded Should Domingue continue to play well. The Lightning just signed Budaj to a 2-year contract before the season began.

It’s a good feeling being 2-1 on this trip after the horrible start in Minnesota. The Lightning will be in Philadelphia tomorrow night to take on a red hot Flyers team who have battled back and put themselves in position for a playoff spot. The Flyers are currently on a four game winning streak and are 8-2 over there last 10.

—Braydon Point was named to the NHL All-star team to replace the injured Victor Hedman. Point is second on the team in goals with 19 and third in points with 43. Point was the center on the second line last night with Tyler Johnson and Nikta Kucherov.

—The lightning also announced that Ondrej Palat will be out 6-8 weeks with a lower body injury. Palat was injured in the game against Minnesota on a slash by the Wild’s Jared Spurgeon.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports