Lightning comes back to beat Blackhawks

by Gary Shelton on November 23, 2017 · 4 comments

in general

Ryan Callahan slides while looking for a shot./STEVEN MUNCIE

Ryan Callahan slides while looking for a shot./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 3 a.m.

Over the course of a season, even a very good team is going to have to dig itself out of the occasional hole.

Take, for instance, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who successfully shoveled their way out of a disappointing start.

The Bolts, playing against the Chicago Blackhawks, who beat them in the 2015 Stanley Cup Championship, fell behind 2-0 when Patrick Kane

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Tampa Bay's Killorn gets tripped./STEVEN MUNCIE

Tampa Bay's Killorn gets tripped./STEVEN MUNCIE

scored twice. But the Bolts came from behind to win a 3-2 game in overtime. The Lightning continue their best start in franchise history with 34 points and a 16-3-2 record through 21 games, six points better than the 28 put up by the 2013-14 (14-7-0) and 2014-15 (13-6-2) teams.

Brayden Point scored the winning goal at 3:25 of overtime on a perfect pass from teammate Steven Stamkos.Also scoring for the Bolts were Ondrej Palat and Chris Kunitz. Palat's goal was short-handed.Point's goal came on the

Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to lead the NHL in victories./STEVEN MUNCIE

Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to lead the NHL in victories./STEVEN MUNCIE

power play. But early in the game, the Lightning struggled on the power play.

“It wasn’t working for us in the first, and Chicago had something to say about that," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "When we didn’t score on those power plays, I think our game went downhill and Chicago took complete advantage of us.”

Cooper thought the line of Ryan Callahan, Chris Kunitz and Cedric Paquette gave his team a lift.

Victor Hedman celebrates after an assist./STEVEN MUNCIE

Victor Hedman celebrates after an assist./STEVEN MUNCIE

“Paquette coming back in the lineup really helped that line," Cooper said. "We have a true center there. They had a lot of energy tonight, and obviously we don’t come back and win that game without that line.”

Callahan said it was a big win for the Bolts.

“It was important for us, especially coming after a loss," Callahan said. "Not a great effort against the Islanders. The first period was a little weird, I mean a lot of power plays, there wasn’t much flow to it. They get some in the first there, but I thought we responded well.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 29 saves for Tampa Bay. He is now 15-1-2 on the season.

"He was pretty huge all game. He made some pretty key saves on a couple of their power plays. The save on Kane sticks out on the breakaway, but throughout that game he made some pretty big saves.”

In particular, Lightning fans will remember a big save against Kane in overtime.

“Every time you go and make a big save, it’s momentum for us," Ondrej Palat said. "And as it happens, we scored after that. Like I said, Vasy was a key for us, and he was unreal today.” The Lightning is now 6-1 against the West.

The Lighting plays at the Washington Capitals on Friday.

Ondrej Palat slips against the Blackhawks./STEVEN MUNCIE

Ondrej Palat slips against the Blackhawks./STEVEN MUNCIE

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS November 23, 2017 at 7:56 am

This was a gutsy win against a good Blackhawk team. A nice appetizer to start a Thanksgiving celebration. Tampa Bay should be truly thankful for such a great organization as the Lightning!

Reply

Gary Shelton November 23, 2017 at 10:19 am

True. It’s a fine team, even if a slump is ahead. A fine organization, too.

Reply

Larry Beller November 23, 2017 at 7:07 am

TB sports fans can be thankful that we have such a wonderful hockey team in the Lightning. The game last night was hugely entertaining and such a pleasure to watch. It was interesting to hear the Chicago announcers give their slant on the game. They had no choice but to give the Lightning praise for their high level of play. The Bucs are a mess, the Rays are usually disappointing, but we have a jewel of a team in the Lightning. Go Bolts!

Reply

Gary Shelton November 23, 2017 at 10:20 am

Were those Chicago announcers? I thought they worked for NBC. Anyway, they were professional.

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