After a hard fought game against the Minnesota Wild last night the Tampa Bay Lightning were at it again against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. The Bolts continued to play with strong emotion and earned a decisive victory as they head into their bye week.
The Bolts got off to a less than desireable start to the game when Nikita Kucherov headed to the box on a hooking call at 1:24 of the first. It was pretty much all Winnipeg for the first ten minutes as they outshot the Lightning 5-3. The momentum started to shift as Tampa started getting more sustained time in their offensive zone. Jonathan Drouin showcased his ability with a monstrous shift that set up Brayden Point‘s goal to open the scoring on Connor Hellebuyck.
Coming off of a shutout in his last start, Ben Bishop was incredibly sharp in goal once again. The Lightning’s trademark speed was on display once again. Their aggressiveness waned slightly as the strain of playing their second game in as many nights showed. Winnipeg opened up the play and gave them a lot of room to work with. Brayden Point won a battle for the puck along the boards and got the puck up to Ondrej Palat who made it 3-0 off a rush at 2:11. Tampa killed off two penalties and held Winnipeg off the scoreboard. The second period ended with a bit of a scrum as tempers flared but the Lightning looked very solid through the first forty minutes.
Winnipeg came out to play in the third period and started bringing it to the Lightning physically. Jacob Trouba got the Jets on the board at 8:45. The goal gave the home team new life and they really tested Bishop in the final 20 minutes. Tampa’s netminder made some key saves and stayed sharp. Victor Hedman scored an empty net goal at 19:24 to seal the victory.
With the win the Lightning have points in four consecutive games and have won three of their last four.
Tampa Bay will travel to Dallas to take on the Stars on Saturday at 8:00 PM.