Lightning hold on for a close victory

by Gary Shelton on December 17, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Stralman scored two goals for Bolts./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Stralman scored two goals for Bolts./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Sunday, 3 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Lightning won their seventh straight game Saturday night, but nothing was easy about it.

The Lightning had the game well in hand halfway through, but had to hang on for a 6-5 victory over the Colorado Avalance. The Bolts were ahead by scores of 4-0 and 5-1, but the Avs outshot Tampa Bay 19-6 in the third period and came within a goal.

The Lighting got four goals from their defenders, including two from Anton Stralman,

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Hedman played well with a goal and an assist./CARMEN MANDATO

Hedman played well with a goal and an assist./CARMEN MANDATO

one from Mikhail Sergachev and one from Victor Headman. Nikita Kucherov scored his 23rd goal, and Yanni Gourde scored his 10th.

For the Avs, Gabriel Landeskog scored three goals and had two assists.

"You have a 5-1 lead; this is a hard league to win in," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "I thought we earned and built our 5-1 lead, but you take three offensive zone penalties, two they score on and one took us off the power play right away. It’s not going to help your cause. I thought we got lazy, and for two periods we didn’t give them any ice, and for one period we gave them all the ice. If you’re going to give players like Landeskog and (Nathan) MacKinnon all that ice, they’re going to do what they did.

"Budaj’s line is going to show five goals against, but look at all the saves he had to make in the end. They had 19 shots in the third and they didn’t have that in two periods. As I said, it’s a tough league to win in, and they’re finding a way to win. It’s a little disappointing on how it ended. You have to feel for Budaj back there, he’s giving up one and after two and I just think we didn’t play responsibly in front of him.”

Cooper found a positive in the shaky win.

“If you’re going to look at the positives, I think we scored three four-on-four goals," Cooper said. "It must have been a night for Swedes, because Hedman and Stralman were studs and Landeskog did his thing, so maybe this game should have been played in the global series.”

The Lightning play for the first time against the Las Vegas Knights on Tuesday night.

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