Stamkos scores to lift Lightning in overtime

by Gary Shelton on November 5, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Stamkos scores to give Tampa Bay a lead./CARMEN MANDATO

Stamkos scores to give Tampa Bay a lead./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 3:30 a.m.

As the championship team of the Tampa Bay Lightning looked on the current version Saturday night, you wonder: Do they see traces of their DNA in the current edition?

Certainly, the early portion of the season would give these Bolts a shot. The Lightning improved their record to 11-2-2 with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the leader of the Metropolitan Division.

Steven Stamkos, who had scored a go-ahead goal earlier in the game, provided the winner with the only successful shootout goal of the session. Stamkos has seven goals on the season.

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Vasilevskiy makes a pad save against Planarin./CARMEN MANDATO

Vasilevskiy makes a pad save against Planarin./CARMEN MANDATO

It was the 50th game-winning goal of Stamkos' career.

“He's a scorer,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “I think he was down on himself that he took that penalty in overtime. He was positive on the bench when we killed the penalty. I was hoping he was going to go out there and snipe it. And he did. It was a great job by him.”

Hedman had two assists on the night./CARMEN MANDATO

Hedman had two assists on the night./CARMEN MANDATO

The Lighting and Blue Jackets were tied 2-2 after one period. The Bolts got goals from Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov.

The Lightning scored twice is the second period (Yanni Gourde, Stamkos) to take a 4-2 lead. However, the Blue Jackets tied it in the third period.

Before Stamkos scored in the shootout, Kucherov and Point shot and missed.

"There’s two good hockey teams out there, and I thought we earned our 4-2 lead," Cooper said. "But this is two games in a row where last game was tied and the third period was our worst. Again, tonight our third period was our worst, so we’ve got to look inside ourselves and question why. Why was it? It fits the football terminology. We just jumped into the prevent defense. We just got away from things that made us successful. In saying that, let’s give Columbus a little bit of credit. They were a really good hockey team and they came out here to get some points out of this game and they did. They did that by putting us on our heels a little bit. If I was going to take a positive out of the third, I’m saying when they did tie it, we turned our game around so that was good.“

Namestnikov moves the puck./CARMEN MANDATO

Namestnikov moves the puck./CARMEN MANDATO

Stamkos thought the Bolts needed to be better in the third.

“You know, we have got to close out games better," Stamkos said. "I thought we sat back a little too much. When you have a two-goal lead in the third at home, it should be automatic. Our team has been pretty good at that over the years. We will watch the tape and get better, I think it’s just keeping focus and being aggressive. We knew they were going to have a push, but it was nice to still get the win.

“That’s a good team over there. They played extremely well since we last

Namestnikov celebrates a goal with Nikita Kucherov./CARMEN MANDATO

Namestnikov celebrates a goal with Nikita Kucherov./CARMEN MANDATO

played them. We knew it was going to be a close game. I thought we played really well the first two. We just have to have that same effort in the third because we don’t want to be blowing two-goal leads like that.”

Defenseman Victor Hedman had two assists.

“I think we sat back a little too much," Hedman said. "You know Columbus is a great team. They have a lot of speed, and they play physical and they kind of dictated the pace for a little bit. I think we got a little bit back after they tied the game and you know we had some opportunities to bury the game early in the third and in the second we had two breakaways. We had two great

Palat rides a Columbus player into the wall./CARMEN MANDATO

Palat rides a Columbus player into the wall./CARMEN MANDATO

goaltenders going at it and two really good teams. You know it wasn’t a divisional opponent, so we will take the two points.”

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all three Columbus shots in the shootout. He had 30 saves beforehand to earn his 11th victory of the season.

“It’s the way the NHL is going now," Cooper said. "It’s a 5-4 game and you’re kind of pleased with the way the team played defensively. I’d never thought I’d say that. For the most part, I liked the way we played. We made some glaring errors and good teams will bury them and they did. You can’t just leave these guys wide open in front. That’s what we did. You got to tip the hat to our goaltender. It was a pretty big-time save made on Panarin there on the one-timer.”

The Lightning starts a three-game west coast swing with a game Wednesday night at San Jose.

Point slides under Columbus goal Borovsky./CARMEN MANDATO

Point slides under Columbus goal Borovsky./CARMEN MANDATO

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller November 5, 2017 at 6:47 am

I may be the only on in Tampa Bay that feels this way but I think Hedman gets too much credit for his offensive skills. As a defenseman his actions led directly to the 2 first period goals for Columbus and he also made a number of other mistakes that could have let in more goals. But he was credited with 2 assists so he gets named the 2nd star of the game. I don’t think he played a good game at all. The Lightning needs better play in their own end if they are going to continue this hot streak and that starts with Hedman.

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Gary Shelton November 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm

To his credit, Hedman admitted he had a bad night. You’re right. He’s out there to be a linebacker, not a wide receiver.

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