Point scores twice to lead Bolts past Washington

by Gary Shelton on February 21, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Point scored two goals for the Bolts./CARMEN MANDATO

Point scored two goals for the Bolts./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 2 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, struggling as of late, got off to a nice start on its latest road trip Tuesday night.

The Bolts beat Washington, 4-2, after five straight losses at the Capital One Arena. The Bolts hadn't won in Washington since April 13 of 2014.

For the Bolts, Brayden Point scored two goals.

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Kucherov sealed the victory with his deke goal./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Kucherov sealed the victory with his deke goal./ANDREW J. KRAMER

“We know where we want to get to," Lighting coach Jon Cooper said, " but also, this is my fifth year in the league and there’s not a whole lot of Ws. This has been a tough place to play for us. It’s just a confidence builder that we can go into tough rinks to play in and get wins and it’ll be good for our group.”

Cooper pointed out that Washington had played the previous night.

"You’ve got to think they’ve got a little bit of travel legs," Cooper said. "They had to get on a plane. I know they didn’t get back really late, but they didn’t skate today so now they’re coming in, the game’s the next time they touch the ice. And we were ready. I just liked the way we were skating, the way we were on top of pucks. We were going to the net. I just really liked a lot of what happened in our first period and I thought they deserved to have the 3-0 lead. The other thing is too, you need your power play to step up for you, and it did in the first when we needed it. This is a tough league. I know they fell behind to Detroit a couple days ago and found a way to come back. But this is a hard league to do that. We defended just enough to hold on.

“The big thing for us was we knew they played yesterday. The key for that is you got to get the lead. That’s what we wanted to do. Are we happy with the result? Of course we are. We got that lead and then we kind of sat back and tried to defend it instead of going on the attack. They’ve got a really good team back there, so you’re going to keep giving them a chance and we just ended up defending a lot. In saying that as well, I didn’t think we gave up a ton of high-quality chances, a lot of shots from the outside. Our goalie was on it when he had to be. There’s a lot of positives to take out of the game, especially the fact we got the two points.”

The Lightning scored their fourth goal on a deke move by Nikita Kucherov, his 32nd of the year.

“It ended up in the back of the net," Cooper said. "That’s the only thing we’re worried about. He can make moves like that. Obviously, a huge, timely goal for us.”

Said Victor Hedman: “Yeah, it was a very nice move. Obviously, a big goal for us at that point too. Yeah, it was huge."

Hedman said the win should give confidence to the Bolts.

“Going back to the record we’ve had in this building, it hasn’t been that great. To come in here and start off a three-game road trip and get a big two points, it’s big for confidence obviously. We knew they were coming off a back-to-back, but they’re a really good team over there with a lot of skill. They play tough, so it’s a big win for us and we’ll get ready for the next one.”

Washington outshot the Bolts 37-19, but Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 on his way to the 35th win.

Thursday night, the Lightning plays at Ottawa. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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