Oct. 17, 2017
Lightning impressive in beating the Blues
After a ho-hum start with a home and home against the Florida Panthers, The Lightning have played three games against the elite teams in the NHL Pittsburgh, Washington, and last night St. Louis. The Lightning went 3-0 against these teams.
Not only have the Lightning improved with each game, last nights game was the best defensive effort the Lightning have put forth this season. The game started out slowly as both teams struggled to get any traction in the offensive zone. There was a five minute stretch where the Blues dominated play and as a result they outshot the Lightning 15-9 in the first period.
Andrei Vasilevskiy brought his A game as he made a couple of key saves in that first period to keep the game a scoreless tie. In the second period the Lightning went to work and totally dominated play as the Lightning‘s defensive effort kept the Blues offense in check throughout the period.
As good as Vasilevskiy was in goal for the Lightning, Jake Allen was just as strong for St Louis as he made some very good saves to keep the Blues in the game despite his team being out shot 13-5 in the period. Tyler Johnson with a PP goal gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead after two periods.
The line of Stamkos, Kucherov and Namenstikov continued to wreck havoc on opponents as Kucherov scored his 5th goal of the season in what may be one of the prettiest goals you will see to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.
The Lightning played a solid defensive game in the third period as the Blues cranked up their offensive game scoring with just over three minutes to play on a Vladimir Tarasenko goal that cut the Lightning lead to 2-1. That was all the Blues would get as the Lightning defense shut the door. It did get a bit dicey in the final seconds as Kucherov was called for high sticking and the Blues played 6 on 4 For the final minute. But the Lightning held on for the win.
The Lightning we’re ready to play from the opening whistle and did not let the Blues dictate the pace of play. Defensively, this is the kind of the Lightning can build on and is the style of game needed to make a deep playoff run.
Last year early in the season the Lightning dug themselves a huge hole after the Stamkos injury for letting games like this slip away. It’s important to maximize the amount of points that you can get early in the season. The Lightning found out the hard way last season that everyone is trying to get the same points in February and March and it helps to be ahead in the points game.
The Lightning got 6/6 points at home this week against some very good competition. Now the Lightning will go on the road for their first road trip of the season. It all starts Monday night against Detroit, then its off to New Jersey and Columbus before coming home next Saturday to play another game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins.