Bolts’ Point erupts for microwave hat trick

by Gary Shelton on November 16, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Point scored three goals in 91 seconds./CARMEN MANDATO

Friday, 4 a.m.

It happened in the time the station breaks for a TV commercial.

It happened in the time it takes to read a page of a novel.

It happened even faster than bad news travels.

Brayden Point didn't just scored a hat trick Thursday night. He scored, well, like Lightning. Point scored like tic-tac-toe, getting his hat trick in just 91 seconds in a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Domingue will have to carry the load for a while./JEFFREY S. KING

Point scored his first, as his team was behind 2-0, with three seconds to go in the first period.

By the time the replays were finished, Point scored again, this time 41 seconds into the second period.

He scored his third, giving the Bolts their first lead of the night, at 1:28 of the second period.

It was the sixth fastest hat trick in the league since 1991. It was easily the fastest in the history of the Lightning franchise, beating Marty St. Louis' old record of 6:17. It was an uncommon eruption of individual scoring.

“I have not seen it," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "Somebody had said it was one of the fastest in league history. It didn’t feel like it because he scored one of the goals in the first and two in the second, but he found a spot there. It’s just great to see because he’s such a hard worker, plays the game the right way. You like to see those guys get rewarded and he was.”

Point's finished the night with 12 goals of the season, which brings him into a tie for third place in the NHL.

"They told me (about the speed of the hat trick) after the game," Point said. "That’s pretty cool. Obviously just a couple 5-on-3 situations, you’re going to get put out in those spots and guys found me. It’s pretty cool.”

For the Bolts, it was a refreshing site after bad news earlier in the day. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is out for as much as six weeks with what is reported to be a broken bone in his foot. Backup Louis Domingue stopped 29-of-31 shots.

"He was great," Cooper said. "The one thing is, we felt things were going against us a little bit. It’s just the way the game was going. We’re catching some unlucky breaks. Penalties were called. Whether they were penalties or not, we were putting ourselves in position for penalties but the ones that were, yeah they were two minutes, but it’s like, ‘That’s a penalty?’ And it was. It is a penalty.

"But then it came back around for us. That’s what happens in games. That’s why you can’t get frustrated and understand it’s 60 minutes. Again, we don’t like going down by two but it’s tough with the talent they have there and to hold them off the board when you give them that much power-play time in the first period. I thought we responded.”

The Bolts allowed the first goal of the game for the ninth time in 10 games. They fell behind 2-0 for the third straight game.

“Penalties played a huge part in this game for both teams," Steven Stamkos said. "They capitalized on some chances. We didn’t quit. We knew probably we’d get some calls after the flurry of penalties we had in the first. We were able to get fortunate and get a couple 5-on-3s, which the old cliché is if you don’t score on your 5-on-3s, you probably don’t win the game. We get two there and the one right after on the extended power play. Special teams was huge tonight. I thought Louis made some big saves in the third, and we played a solid third period to limit their chances. It’s a good road win.”

Stamkos said Point's first goal just before time ran out in the first period was big.

“We knew we had the extended 5-on-3, so it was imperative for us to score at least one," Stamkos said. "Obviously you get one at the end of the period, it’s nice. You’re feeling good about your game heading into the second, and then we get one quick and get a chance to stay on the power play and bury another one. That’s a huge momentum swing in a game. You go from being down 2-0 a minute and a half ago in the time of the game and then you’re up 3-2. Big goals by the power play today.”

Cooper thought the power play was big for his team.

“Clearly special teams was a big part of this game, and they got their 5-on-3 and their chances and scored and then we got ours and scored," Cooper said. "It was kind of a game of tennis; we were volleying back and forth. But the power play was huge for us tonight and it gave us momentum. And as the game went on, I thought we defended really well the last two periods. You can sit there and look at the zone time or whatever, we didn’t give up a bunch of scoring chances. I really liked that about the game tonight.”

The Lightning continues its road trip on Saturday in Philadelphia. For the Bolts and Flyers, the puck drops at 1 p.m.



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