Bolts set new franchise record with 11th straight

by Gary Shelton on February 19, 2020

in general

Kucherov scored the winner in overtime./CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

They are comets shooting through the night sky. They are a bullet fired from a gun. They are a race car roaring down the stretch.

They are the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And can anyone slow them down?

The streaking Bolts won again Monday, pulling out a 4-3 overtime win over a very good Colorado team for their 11th straight win, a franchise record. The Lightning has 23 wins and a tie in its last 26 games.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

Stamkos now has 27 goals./CHUCK MULLER

Tampa Bay is 40-15-5 on the season.

This one was highlighted, again, by Nikita Kucherov, who stole the puck from Nathan MacKinnon in overtime, outraced him to the other end of the ice and scored with 3:03 gone in the extra period.

"If you’re fluking your way to 11 straight, it’s not a recipe for success." said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "It hasn’t all been perfect, but it’s been pretty darned good. We don’t leave games saying ‘holy cow how did we get that one?' For the most part, we’re leaving games saying ‘You know what? We did deserve that one. '"

The Bolts trailed 1-0 in the second period, but scored three straight goals. the first two of those came 16 seconds apart when Alex Killorn scored his 23rd goal of the year and Cameron Gaunce scored his first of the year. Steven Stamkos' scored his 27th on a diving poke for a 3-1 lead.

Colorado came back and scored late in the second and again in the third to force overtime. Kucherov scored his 29th goal of the year to end it.

"It was a little disappointing we coughed up the lead," Cooper said.  "We didn't create a lot down the stretch, but we didn't give up a whole lot either. We got it into overtime and Kooch makes a big-time play.

"He’s a smart player. He’s thinking the game. He has an elite hockey IQ. The impressive thing was the jets he put on. We all know how fast MacKinnon is."

Tampa Bay, for the time being, is one point behind Boston in the Atlantic Division race.

The Lightning play in Las Vegas against the Knights on Thursday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9:30 p.m.

Previous post:

Next post: