Stamkos scores twice in victory over Montreal

by Gary Shelton on December 29, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Stamkos celebrates a goal for the Bolts./CARMEN MANDATO

Stamkos celebrates a goal for the Bolts./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 1 a.m.

More and more, there are  those take-your-breath away moments between Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov that suggest a special chemistry between them. They are moments torn out of a highlight reel and a post-game discussion.

Take Thursday night, for instance, when Kucherov whipped a blind pass to Stamkos, who scored a goal with 12 seconds to play in the second period.

It turned out to be one of Stamkos' two goals in a 3-1 victory over Montreal. Brayden Point scored the third goal for the Bolts.

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Point watches his goal on replay./CARMEN MANDATO

Point watches his goal on replay./CARMEN MANDATO

“I didn’t say a word," Stamkos said. "I knew that he knew that I was there. That’s the thing with Kuch and the chemistry we have developed, we don’t have to draw attention to ourselves by yelling on the ice. We know where we are and it was great play by him.”

Stamkos and Point both have 15 goals on the season.

It was, said coach Jon Cooper, “an awareness play.”

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Vasilevskiy leads the NHL with 24 wins./CARMEN MANDATO

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 of 32 shots to win his 24th game of the season, one more than all of last season. In 19 of his starts. Vasilevskiy has allowed two goals or fewer.

This time, part of the concern was a four-day layoff. After a slow start, however, the Bolts scored three times in the last period and 12 seconds.

“We definitely played much better in the second and third than we did in the first," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

Sergachev played well against his former team./CARMEN MANDATO

Sergachev played well against his former team./CARMEN MANDATO

"I thought we actually had a pretty decent start and then we had the power play. We had some really good looks on the power play and couldn’t score. And then they got the power play, and I just felt like after that we kind of went downhill a little bit. Vasy had to make a couple, we got a break on that weird deflection that hit the ice and bounced up and hit the crossbar. Somebody had a one-timer on the far side, Carr maybe, and Vasy came over and made a heck of a save, but that’s what you need your goaltender to do when it’s not really vibing for us up front. He made a couple big saves and then I thought the second and the third we had the better of the chances.”

Tampa Bay had six power plays and scored on a 5-on-3.

“It was huge for us, especially at that point in the game," said defender Victor Hedman. "You know we had a lot of good chances on the power play, we created some momentum, but Price had a lot of good saves. To be able to cash in on a 5-on-3 was huge for us.”

The Bolts play again tonight (7:30 p.m.) against Philadelphia at Amalie Arena.

Paquette reaches for the puck while sliding./CARMEN MANDATO

Paquette reaches for the puck while sliding./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS December 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

The Bolts are a definite bright spot in was has been a dark 2017 season for bay area pro sports teams. Go Bolts! All the way to the Cup!

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Gary Shelton December 29, 2017 at 10:30 am

I keep waiting for a slump. None so far.

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