Bolts turn in on late to beat Buffalo, 7-5

by Gary Shelton on April 7, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Cirelli scored two goals Friday night./JEFFREY S. KING

Cirelli scored two goals Friday night./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

Cirelli has five goals for the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Cirelli has five goals for the season./JEFFREY S. KING

It was wild. It was wobbly.

At times, the Lightning looked ready for the playoffs. At times, they did not.

The Bolts blew a two-goal lead against the NHL's worst team. And they came from behind with three goals in the third period to win the game and keep alive the possibility of winning the Atlantic Division.

So was it a good effort or a bad one. Or, perhaps, was the Lightning's final home game of the season a bit of both?

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Vasilveskiy won his 44th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Vasilveskiy won his 44th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Anthony Cirelli scored two goals for Tampa Bay. Nikita Kucherov (39th), Yanni Gourde (25th), Dan Girardi, Brayden Point (32nd) and Victor Hedman (17th) all scored for the Bolts. It was Cirelli's first multi-goal game of the season.

Kucherov broke 100 points for the year./JEFFREY S. KING

Kucherov broke 100 points for the year./JEFFREY S. KING

“It says something about Cirelli, but how about the line?" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "They were +14 or something. It’s funny, he was the one that changed when Point scored. Give him credit for a good change I guess, but they were outstanding tonight.”

Gourde hadn't scored a goal for 13 games in a row.

“You could see it was a relief for Gourde," Cooper said. "It’s tough because he passes Johnny in the goal department, but Johnny was really happy for him.

Killorn had three assists for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

Killorn had three assists for Tampa Bay./JEFFREY S. KING

Also, he passed Richie for rookies and it was Kuch’s turn the next period. It’s routine and everybody is putting in and doing what’s best for the team. In the end, you get down here and guys are so close to some pretty cool achievements. Guys were pretty fired up on the bench for him.”

Kucherov is now one goal from his second straight 40-goal season. He surpassed 100 points on the season.

“Without those guys, I wouldn’t be there where I am right now and I much appreciate them for the help they did for me," Kucherov said. "I think you know not every season you get 100 points. I think it’s something special, and I will definitely remember it for the rest of my life.”

The Lighting lost a 4-2 lead when Buffalo scored three times in the second

Hedman scored on an empty netter./JEFFREY S. KING

Hedman scored on an empty netter./JEFFREY S. KING

period to take the lead, outshooting Tampa Bay 16-5. But the Bolts came back with three goals in the third, including two within 47 seconds.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiyy stopped 27 of 32 shots to win his 44th game of the season, four short of the record.

Tampa Bay concludes its regular season tonight against Carolina. If it wins, it gets home ice advantage for the first three rounds of the playoffs. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

Gourde finally foond the back of the net./JEFFREY S. KING

Gourde finally found the back of the net./JEFFREY S. KING

 

 

 

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