Friday, 3 a.m.
Now, that's more like it.
The Tampa Bay Lighting still cannot be certain that its struggles are over, especially not as beaten up as they are. But for a night, the Lightning was a special team again Thursday night.
The goaltending (Andri Vasilevskiy) was good, particularly since the Bolts learned that Ben Bishop was out for as long as four weeks before the game.
The goal-scoring was solid, especially the two goals by Jonathan Drouin.
The team came from behind.
And, best of all, the Lightning won back-to-back games for the first time since the middle of November.
Content beyond this point is for members only.
Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (its at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!
Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.
The Lightning came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat the St. Louis Blues, 5-2. Tampa Bay fell behind with two quick goals in the first period before coming back.
“It’s the National Hockey League," said coach Jon Cooper. "To me, every win’s impressive. It’s hard to win in this league. I think the one thing that was impressive was you’re down two and you come back and get five unanswered. I was really, really proud of the way we battled back because that game could’ve gone the other way really quick. When the team is emotionally invested, we can be pretty good. It doesn’t matter who’s in there and I thought after the first period we got emotionally invested, and it was a really good effort by the guys.”
Brian Boyle got the Bolts on the board in the second period, redirecting a shot from Victor Hedman. Boyle has four goals in the last five games, and Hedman has eight assists. Michael Bournival tied the game at two with his first goal since 2015.
Alex Killorn broke the tie with his 11th goal 5:25 into the third period.
Jonathan Drouin scored the last two goals, one on an empty netter. He's scored 10 goals on the season.
It was the first time since mid-November the Bolts have won two straight.
“Ultimately, you get judged in wins and losses, but internally when you work your way out of something, it’s how you’re working your way out," Cooper said. "I really thought when we played St. Louis in St. Louis and we were down 4-1 and we battled back, we didn’t win that game, but you could see things were turning for us. Ever since then, I think the one game, probably the Vancouver game at home, but other than that, those guys have worked. We’ve been on the point side of most of them. Some of them we haven’t. But I just have liked the way our game has transitioned, and we’ve been getting better. It’s funny, the more guys we lose, guys keep coming in and their effort is willing us to games so it’s been nice.”
The Bolts play at Washington tonight.