Bolts come from three goals down to trip Panthers

by Gary Shelton on December 2, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Domingue has 10 wins on the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Some nights are remembered by their nightmares. Some are remembered by a man conquering them.

Take Louis Domingue, the Bolts' shaky-but-solid goaltender.

Domingue started Saturday night wit the worst possible way, falling behind 4-1 to the last-place Florida Panthers. It took Florida only eight shots to take the lead. It was one-of-those nights for Domingue.

But it didn't last.

Domingue was solid after that, stopping the last 19 shots he faced as Tampa Bay won a 5-4 comeback. Domingue now has more victories on the season (10) than starter Andrei Vasilevskiy (9).

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Point scored another game-winner./CARMEN MANDATO

"You look up and the poor kid’s got two goals on him on three shots in the period," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "But when the game’s on the line and you need the timely save, I think it was (Mike) Hoffman who had the breakaway, he stopped that. He stops a big one in overtime on (Aaron) Ekblad.

"Those are the saves you need to give your team a chance to win, and he’s finding a way to give us those saves. We’re getting points out of it. Good on Louis to hang in this game the way he did and pull it out for us.

“He’s winning games for us. It’s what we have right now. He finds a way to win. He finds a way to makes a big save for us when we need him. You just need that in a goalie, and that’s what he’s doing.”

The Bolts won when Brayden Point scored the winner for the Bolts 3:12 into overtime. It was Point's 19th goal, and his third game-winner of the year. Point has scored the most game-winning goals (15) in the NHL since the start of the 2017-18 season.

“Just a great pass by Kuch, through the guy's legs," Cooper said. "I just tried to stop it and make sure I put it in. Reimer gets across. He actually gets a blocker on it but still found a way into the net. Just a great pass, and I just wanted to make sure on it.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re on top of it, even on the power play. I lost Ekblad there, and he gets a great scoring chance and Louis makes a big save. You’ve definitely got to be aware. It was nice to see us get a power play and convert on it.”

The Bolts didn't panic despite their three-goal deficit.

“We’re a confident group," Victor Hedman said.  "We believe in what we have in this room. We know a hockey game is 60 minutes, not 20, not 40. Even though we were down three, we thought we were the better team and we knew we have the strengths on this team to come back from a deficit like that.

"We believed in ourselves and we got those two goals in the second period and we believed we were going to get a fourth one in the third. Talks about the character we have in this room and different guys stepping up. We’re very happy.”

Said Cooper: "To be honest, we liked the way were playing (at 4-1). It was tough to look up and see us down 4-1. We didn’t really give them anything, and what we did give them, they scored. We knew we were playing well enough to come back in this game, and I felt like we deserved points out of this game and fortunately for us we got two.”

The Bolts also got goals in their comeback from Alex Killorn (his third in four games), Nikita Kucherov, Mattieu Joseph and Cedric Paquette.

Tampa Bay, 19-7-1 on the season, now travels to New Jersey on Monday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.



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