Hedman leads Bolts to overtime victory

by Gary Shelton on February 2, 2022

in general

Hedman's play led to his eighth overtime winner./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

And now, the cobwebs begin to grow on the sticks of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning. fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night at Amalie Arena, now face a prolonged break because of the all-star game and the days allocated for the Olympics. They don't play again until Feb. 10, and they play just five games in the month of February.

So what will the Bolts do to pass the time?

Maybe they can watch the highlights of this game all over again.

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The Bolts won when defenseman Victor Hedman stole a pass at the blue line, then took the puck down the ice on a 3-on-2 breakaway. He tried to pass to Steven Stamkos, but the puck deflected off the stick of Brett Burns and caromed into the net.

"It wasn’t really a shot," Hedman said. "It was more like a pass, but I hit a stick and it went in."

Said Bolts coach Jon Cooper: "If it doesn't hit someone's stick, Stammer probably has it in the back door."

The play was yet another highlight for Hedman, who now has 10 goals.

"The big thing is he’s not showing signs of regression," Cooper said of Hedman. "Players who play as long as he has, once you get into your 30s you see potential decline a little bit. Our guys in their 30s are playing like the're in in their mid-20s.  It seems he’s getting better with age and it’s impressive."

The Bolts also got goals from Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn.

The Bolts improved their record to 12-2-3 against Western Conference foes, including an 8-1-1 mark versus the Pacific Division. They are now 7-2 in overtime games.

Hedman scored his eighth career overtime winner, behind only Martin St. Louis (10) and Steven Stamkos (10) for the most in Lightning history.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 19-of-21 shots to earn his 25th win of the season, the fifth-consecutive season he’s recorded 25 or more wins.

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