Bolts finally look complete again in easy win

by Gary Shelton on April 22, 2022

in general

No one has scored more for the Bolts than Stamkos./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

If this hockey game was all about sending messages, this one was clear.

If these teams are indeed going to meet in the NHL playoffs, they're going to need expanded penalty boxes.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, for at least one night, looked like a team to be reckoned with in the upcoming post-season. They drubbed the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-2, although it should be noted that Toronto played without star Auston Matthews.

But the game turned chippy, and after a while, it was easier to see the fighting than it was the scoring. The teams combined for 31 penalties for 114 minutes. Each team had six power plays (the Lightning scored on five of theirs).

Not to be forgotten in the win was Steven Stamkos' goal, which moved him past Martin St. Louis and left him as the Lightning's leading scorer in franchise history.

“It’s crazy the production he’s had,’’ Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “He has been phenomenal (and) the games that he’s missed and he’s still only (32) years old and has that record already. Says a lot about his determination, his skill level.’’

Alex Killorn and Ross Colton each had two goals. Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Pat Maroon also scored.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had been in a slump, finally won again, stopping 36 of 37 shots.

The Bolts had been 1-9-1 in their last 11 games against playoff teams.

Tampa Bay is home Saturday night against Nashville at Amalie Arena. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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