Bolts bounce back in big win over Panthers

by Gary Shelton on February 14, 2021

in general

Johnson scored two goals for the Lightning./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

The bitter taste of losing didn't stay in the mouths of the Tampa Bay Lightning very long.

Two days after an embarrassing loss to the Florida Panthers, the Lightning charged back and took a 6-2 victory over the Panthers. Playing without Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and, of course, Nikita Kucherov (out for the year), the Bolts scored four times in the second period and coasted.

 “We weren’t happy with that (losing) game." said Tyler Johnson, who scored twice. "That was one of the first ones in a long time we just got outplayed all over the ice. It was kind of a sour taste in our mouths. We had to come back and respond."

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The Bolts were led by newcomers. Gemel Smith, who hadn't played an NHL game in 11 months, had two assists. Alexander Volkov scored his first NHL goal.

Also scoring for the Bolts were Ondrej Palat and Mathieu Joseph.

“I've been in this position before.," Smith said. "I know how easy it is to get down on yourself if you’re not playing. I tried to stay positive. It’s easy to go in there when the guys have trust in you and the coaches have trust in you.”

Joseph had praise for Smith.

“I thought both times he’s been with the team he's been outstanding. It was just a matter of time for him to jump into the lineup and have an impact on the team. He’s a great player. He has a great vision, great hands, great offensive instincts. I thought he had an unreal game tonight. "

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 of 34 shots, including four when the Bolts were shorthanded for four minutes in the first period.

The Bolts are home against the Panthers on Monday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

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