Lightning’s fast start leads it past Chicago

by Gary Shelton on November 24, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Tyler Johnson scored two quick goals./CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 3 a.m.

They have started their season in a hurry, as if they cannot wait to get to the post-season. They don't slow down, they do not hesitate, they do not tiptoe. They are full speed ahead, and most of the time, it has worked for them.

Friday night, they approached their game that way, too.

The Lightning started off fast for a change, blowing the Chicago Blackhawks out in with four goals the first period. on their way to a 4-2 victory. It was the seventh straight time the Bolts have beaten Chicago.

Tyler Johnson scored 29 seconds into the game, and again at 7:15 to stake the Bolts to their early lead.

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Point has 15 goals on the season./CARMEN MANDATO

"We got off to a very good start," Johnson said. "Obviously when you get the lead it makes it a little bit easier to play the rest of the game. You’re not chasing. We felt good the way we were playing and just kept on going.”

Brayden Point scored his 15th goal, and Ryan Callahan tallied his first in 15 games.

"You’re not chasing the game," Callahan said. "It’s a lot easier to play with the lead in this league. Teams are so talented it’s hard to come back some times. You know, to get behind the eight ball kills your momentum at home when you don’t score first, and it takes the crowd out of it pretty early. It’s a lot easier when you score that first goal, and I think even at home it’s more important just to get the crowd into it. It gets everyone going.”

The Lightning got three goals and four assists from a line with Johnson, Point and Nikita Kucherov.

"They've been playing really, really well since they've been together and creating a lot of offense," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It was an extremely big test to go against that big line they've got of world-class players, and they did a great job. Kind of set the tone of the game for us."

The Lightning is now 16-6-1 and leads the Atlantic Division.

The Bolts did slow down during the game. Things turned sloppy in the third.

“They definitely pushed a bit in the second and we were a little bit sloppier in the third there," said defenseman Ryan McDonagh. "We took some penalties there late and they had a 6-on-5 there for a good three minutes. Louis was huge there down the stretch for sure. Putting a lot of big saves there on the board. For the most part, I liked our game for close to 60 minutes.”

Goaltender Louis Domingue started his sixth-consecutive game for the Lightning. He made 30-of-32 saves to improve to 7-3-0 on the season.

The Lightning continues its  homestand on Sunday when they host the New Jersey Devils at Amilie Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m.







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