Lightning capture convincing win over Pittsburgh

by Gary Shelton on October 22, 2017 · 1 comment

in general

Vasilevskiy gloves one of his 28 saves./JEFFREY S. KING

Vasilevskiy gloves one of his 28 saves./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Convinced yet?

Are you convinced that the Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a hot start? Are you convinced that Nikita Kucherov is a rising star? Are you convinced that Andrei Vasilelvskiy is the answer in goal? Are you convinced that Mikhail Sergachev is going to be an asset?

Are you convinced that that the Lightning is a far better team than it was a year ago?

Well, if you aren't, the Pittsburgh Penguins probably are.

The Bolts beat the Penguins again Saturday night, wearing them out in a 7-1 victory. The win improved the Lightning to 7-1-1 on the season and 5-0 at home.

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Kucherov (86) celebrates with Victor Hedman./JEFFREY S. KING

Kucherov (86) celebrates with Victor Hedman./JEFFREY S. KING

Nikita Kucherov scored two goals and now has 10 on the season. He's scored in nine of the team's 10 games this year. Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists.

Andrei Vasilevskiy missed his second shuout by just  1:02, giving up a late third-period goal to the Penguins. It was his league-leading seventh win. He stopped 28 of 29 shots.

Sergachev scored his third goal of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

Sergachev scored his third goal of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

Perhaps the most impressive was a save in the final minute of the first

For me the turning point, not that it was a turning point, but the key to the game was the Vasilevskiy save with 20 seconds left, and then we go down and score with 0.2 on the board,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “There it is. So its 3-0 going into the room, and that was a big part of the game.”

Vasilevskiy said he can see the team defense get better in front of him.

We aren’t giving up as many scoring chances,” Vasilevskiy said. “We are playing much better defensively now.”

Stralman scored in Lightning's big win./JEFFREY S. KINGOne of those defensemen, of course, is Sergachev, who scored his third goal.

Well, he is just much more assertive now. He’s just playing the game faster, he’s playing the game harder, he’s passing the puck with authority now where even just three weeks ago he wasn’t doing that,” Cooper said. “I’m really impressed with how much he is grown in this short amount of time.”

Kucherov's goal explosion has turned Steven Stamkos into a playmaker. Together, they are the 1-2 scorers in the league. Stamkos now has 22 points and Kucherov 19.

In different circumstances, you want to develop as a player and when you have a guy like Kuch on your line,” Stamkos said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of people yelling at

Gourde scored his first goal of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

Gourde scored his first goal of the year./JEFFREY S. KING

me to shoot, but he’s so hot we just try to get him the puck.

This was a big game for us. We were a confident group coming off of a great road game in Columbus. It was a great defensive game. We talked about how the Pens are obviously very good offensively, and we wanted to limit their chances. I’m just proud of the way we played throughout the whole game.”

For the Bolts, both Yanni Gourde and Anton Stralman scored their first goals of the season. Brayden Point scored his fourth.

Tampa Bay travels to Carolina Tuesday night with a 7 p.m. puck drop.

Stamkos scores to add to his league-leading point total./JEFFREY S. KING

Stamkos scores to add to his league-leading point total./JEFFREY S. KING

 

 

 

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bill MYERS October 22, 2017 at 8:12 am

Good news!! Love it !GO BOLTS!

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