Lightning capture easy win over Florida

by Gary Shelton on November 22, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning C Steven Stamkos ran the Bolts' offense well./CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 2 a.m.

Yeah, that's how Marty St. Louis used to play, all right.

On a night when the Lightning paid tribute to former star St. Louis, who was just inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, much of the current roster spent the night emulating him in a 7-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Did you see Steven Stamkos find the open skater, wheeling through the opponents and passing the puck? Yeah, St. Louis used to do that.

Did you see Yanni Gourde in traffic swooping in to score an up-close goal, taking a give-and-go pass from Stamkos and flicking a puck into the open net. Yeah, St. Louis did that, too.

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Louie Domingue makes a glove save./CHUCK MULLER

Did you see Nikita Kucherov blast a rocket from the left circle for a goal? You get it now. St. Louis did that, too.

For the Bolts, it was as good as watching a video montage. Five players scored more than one point. Stamkos had a goal and three assists. Kucherov had a goal and two assists. Ryan McDonagh had a goal and two assists. J.T. Miller had three assists and Victor Hedman two.

Marty St. Louis waves to the crowd./CHUCK MULLER

The star was Stamkos, who played one of his most complete games. He was also 12 of 15 from the face-off circle.

"He was above, he was skating, he was winning puck battles all over the ice," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "By the time the third period came around, he was getting rewarded for everything that was going on

"He was feeling it. He seems to do that more often that not. He was earning all of the breaks he was getting. He was making some fabulous plays out there tonight. It's why he got four points."

Joseph is on a hot streak for Bolts./CHUCK MULLER

 

Stamkos has seven goals and 14 assists on the season.

"It was one of those games where you get back from a long road trip," Stamkos said. "We talked about it this morning and we wanted to get off to a great start. Obviously (Joseph’s) goal, one of the first shifts of the game, got us going and guys had a good response game. I don’t think we were happy with our effort for the first part of that Nashville game, so we wanted to come back in front of our home fans and play a real competitive game and just show how much we want to win.”

Mathieu Joseph and Adam Erne also scored for the Bolts. For Joseph, it was his fifth goal in nine games.

Lightning C Yanni goes to the net./CHUCK MULLER

In beating Florida, the Bolts took advantage of a road-weary team. The Panthers were playing their fifth straight road game.

"You got to take advantage of teams when they're on a long road trip and a little bit tired and traveled long distances," Cooper said. "It was impressive. Florida really came out strong in the first period, but we kept wearing them down a little bit and you have to do that. You have to take advantage of teams when they're tired because there's going to be games when you're going to be tired and teams will try to take advantage of you and we did that tonight."

Goaltender Louis Domingue ran his record to 6-3 with the win. He has saved 178 shots in his last six games.

“For me, I’m just applying details day in and day out, and that made a big difference for me so far," Domingue said. "If you do that and you put in the effort in practices then it’s just going to follow up in games. When you do play that often then it’s really just a rhythm.”

Said Florida coach Bob Boughner:  "I give Domingue some credit. He made a couple of big saves at key times of the game that we were on our way back in. “

The Bolts play against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night at Amalie Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.

Adam Erne scores for Lightning./CHUCK MULLER

 

 

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