Bolts handle Devils in repeat victory

by Gary Shelton on March 17, 2023

in general

Killorn scored the winner in a shootout./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

When a team's season is on the verge of going to hell, isn't that the best time to take a swing at the Devils?

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New Jersey Devils for the second time in three days Thursday night, winning a 4-3 shootout victory. It was a second straight win over a quality team after the Bolts had won just four times in their previous 14 games.

Alex Killorn scored the winning shootout goal for the win, and Steven Stamkos scored twice, but the big moment wasn't a goal. The big moment came when the Bolts killed a full two minutes of a five-on-three situation, and at the end of it, Stamkos scored.

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Stamkos scored twice for Bolts./TIM WIRT

It is a desperate situation, the five-on-three, especially against a skilled team such as the Devils. But the Bolts fought it off, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare found Stamkos for the goal.

"This was a test for us." said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "They’re going to be a 50-win team. We can’t sit here and think our problems are all solved. We have to build off of this."

There were moments where it looked as if the Bolts could do that. They were better with the puck, and they took three different leads before the winner.

Ross Colton scored a goal in regulation for the Bolts when a puck went off of his leg and into the net. He also scored in the shootout .

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy won his 31st game.

"It’s a hard league to win in," Cooper said. "Everly single night you go out, you’re hoping you can go 82-0. But you’re not doing that. When you get down to this time of the year, teams have separated themselves. There’s playoff teams and non playoff teams.

"The team we played tonight is clearly a playoff team. We’re trying to make sure we’re one of those teams. To come here and get four (points) is a huge confidence builder, especially with our last 10-12 games. "

The Bolts play at Amalie Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Montreal.

Colton scored his 16th./TIM WIRT

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