Bolts finish strong week with win over New York

by Gary Shelton on November 16, 2021

in general

Cirelli had a strong game for the Lightning./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

It was a week to make you remember the playoffs.

Also, it was a week to make you think that this year's playoffs might have a little promise, too.

The Tampa Bay Lightning capped a strong test of a week Monday night, beating the New York Islanders 4-1. The Islanders had played Tampa Bay for the conference title in each of the last two years.

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Cirelli got into a fight with Brock Nelson./JEFFFEY S. KING

That came in five-point week when the Bolts took Carorina to overtime (losing 2-1 in extra time) and beat Florida. Both the Hurricanes and Panthers played the Lightning in last year's post-season run.

Perhaps that is part of the reason the Bolts played so crisply Monday night. There were physical (three fights), they were quick and they got great goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Their goals came from Matthieu Joseph, Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos.

In particular, Cirelli was sharp, He scored the go-ahead goal, had a fight while taking up for a teammate and caught a puck in the face in his 9:47 of play.

"Nine minutes," Jon Cooper said. "He had the biggest impact on the game in nine minutes."

The Bolts gave up an early lead, then scored four straight, two in the third period. The Bolts now have points in eight straight games.

"We're defending," Cooper said. "We've given up two or less goals in seven of eight games. You're giving yourself a chance to get points. They have not all been pretty, but the boys are defending and when they're not there, Easy is there to make the save.

"The only time we got in trouble tonight was when we started taking those penalties. We got through it. You don't want to put your team in those spots. Two of penalties were careless and the third was because we were out of position. We were in a tough spot. You're flirting with fire there. It puts a strain on your team. We've got to buckle down and stop taking those careless ones."

The Bolts are in third place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind Florida.

Tampa Bay is on the road to play Philadelphia Thursday night. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

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