Stamkos leads Lightning rally over Kings

by Gary Shelton on January 30, 2020

in general

Stamkos is red-hot for the Lightning./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Early in the second period, there was an uh-oh moment for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Seventy-eight seconds into play, and Alex Iafallo scored to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-0 lead over the Lightning. Because Tampa Bay had lost to Dallas in overtime Monday night, a slow start to the second half of the season seemed inevitable.

The Lightning, however, shook off their slow start and rallied for 4-2 victory. The Bolts are now 13-2-1 in their last 16 games.

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The Bolts are now 30-15-5 on the season.

Steven Stamkos scored twice for the Lightning -- he had another goal disallowed by an offsides call. He has four goals in his last two games. His second goal tied the game at 2-2 and came after a power play in which the Lightning repeatedly got off shots at the net. Stamkos scored just as the power play ended.

"Those are ones where you lose some sleep if you don’t score," Stamkos said. "Our power play has been struggling a bit in the last 4-5 games by our standards. I know it didn’t count as a power play goal, but it gave us a lot of confidence.

"It was a great power play for us. We did everything but score. That was a momentum shift for us."

Despite the two-goal deficit, Lightning coach Jon Cooper thought his defense played well.

“We went down 2-0, but in the grand scheme of things, we didn’t give them much all night," Cooper said. "I thought Johnny's goal was key.".

For the Bolts, Tyler Johnson and Erik Cernak also scored goals.

Alex Vasilevskiy won his 25th game of the year (he has nine loss and three overtime games). He stopped 32 of 34 shots.

Vasilevskiy is 12-0-2 since Dec. 14.

"He’s been our backbone since he’s become a starter in this league," Stamkos said. "We’ve seen in this stretch the last month and a half — he’s been our MVP. There's a reason why he’s an elite goaltender in this league."

The Bolts play against the Ducks in Anaheim Friday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 10 p.m.

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