Bolts continue hot streak into break

by Gary Shelton on January 28, 2024

in general

Hedman passed 700 points./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Here’s a question for the NHL:

Do the Tampa Bay Lightning have to take an all-star break?

Goodness knows, the Bolts have the look of a team that wants to keep playing. They won their eighth game in their last nine Saturday night, scoring two empty netters to beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3. It was their third straight 6-3 win.

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Point reached 25 goals./TIM WIRT

The Bolts had trouble gaining traction for most the season, but they finished the first half strong. They have outscored opponents 41-21 in their hot streak, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has won seven of his last eight.

Tampa Bay built leads of 2-0 and 4-2, but the Devils scored three times in the third period to leave a ragged feel to the victory. Still, the Bolts won as Brayden Point and Brandon Hagel scored empty-net goals. Each had scored a previous goal in the game.

Point now has 25 goals.

Steven Stamkos also scored (his 21st), as did Nick Paul (his 13th).

Victor Hedman had two assists to become the 29th defenseman to have 700 points (701).

“It’s super cool to see,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “Seven hundred is a lot of points. It’s a lot of point for anyone, let alone a defenseman.”

The Bolts have averaged 4.6 goals over its last nine. It’s giving up 2.3.

Vasilevskiy stopped 21 of 24 shots.

“The second period  was probably one of the best periods we’ve played all year,” said Stamkos.

The Bolts return to play Feb. 7 at the New York Rangers.

Hagel scored two goals./TIM WIRT

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