Bolts rally to win another home game

by Gary Shelton on January 1, 2023

in general

Vasilevskiy has won three in four nights./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Can a building be one of a hockey team's three stars?

After all, it is brick and steel, a cavernous arena by the water. But for the Tampa Bay Lightning, it has become a fortress. It is a castle worth defending, and there is something about Amalie Arena that makes a good team better.

The Lightning won their seventh straight game on home ice Saturday night, coming from behind to beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. For the season, the Bolts are 15-4-1 at home.

Even on nights when the Lightning gives up two quick goals, as they did against the Coyotes, they are able to right themselves and win.

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Killorn scored the winning goal./TIM WIRT

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy won his third game in four nights, running his record to 16-9-1.

"He hadn't played in a week," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "He had a little rest. We planned this out. This won’t be a normal thing. We thought with that much time off it was okay to get him some work."

Alex Killorn scored the go-ahead goal for the Bolts. Also scoring were Braydon Point, Brandon Hagel, Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos. Stamkos' goal was his 498th of his career.

Victor Hedman had three assists, tying Vinny Lecavalier for third place all-time on the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov had two assists.

Cooper was pleased his team came back to take over the game after falling behind 2-0 and having to kill a penalty.

“Just a rough couple of minutes,” Cooper said. "I didn’t think we started poorly. We had a rough break on their first goal and a little structure issue on their second. I did like the way we kind of regrouped after that. We really didn’t give them much after that in the first period. I thought we got better as the game went on.

“You go down three it might have been little more deflating."

The Bolts now go on the road, traveling to Chicago for an 8:30 p.m. game on Tuesday night.

Stamkos is two from 500./TIM WIRT

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