Bolts take another West Coast victory

by Gary Shelton on November 13, 2017 · 0 comments

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J.T. Brown scored the wknner with his first goal./ANDREW J. KRAMER

J.T. Brown scored the winner with his first goal./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Monday, 2 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Lightning continued its dominance of the West Coast Sunday night.

This time, the Bolts beat the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, to sweep their three-game trip to California. The Lightning scored on goals by Vladislav Namestnikov (his ninth) and J.T. Brown (his first of the year).

"Coming through California is a tough trip,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

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Vasilevskiy won his  13th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Vasilevskiy won his 13th game of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

“Everybody out East knows that. You’re hoping is there any way you can get six points out of that. Obviously, we started the trip off right by taking those two, but this is a tough game. It’s a couple days in between. It’s an afternoon game. We’ve been on the road a week. We know we’re going home after this. I was really impressed with the guys’ focus trying to get this one tonight and they found a way.”

Namestnikov scored his ninth goal for the BOlts./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Namestnikov scored his ninth goal for the Bolts./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Tampa Bay's offense had opportunities to score more, but Ducks' goalie John Gibson had a good night. Gibson stopped 35 of 37 shots. The Lighting's Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 of 29, but he had to make half of them in the third period.

"It was definitely a goaltender duel tonight,” Cooper said. “Both of them played well. As I said, in probably that first two periods, he sat there for a lot of it and didn’t see a lot of work and then had to respond to the challenge in the third. That’s why he’s our guy back there. In those tight games when we just couldn’t get that two-goal lead, he was huge for us. It was big. I look back at this now, we got those three wins, but I was really impressed with the fact we went through these three games and only gave up four goals. If you want to win in this league, you’ve got to keep them out of your net and we did that on this trip and that’s why we had success.”

The Lightning outscored their three opponents on the road trip 12-4.

"We’ve had a lot of scoring from Stammer’s line,” Cooper said. “Especially the timing of what happened tonight, I thought Gibson played outstanding for them. We just couldn’t get that extra one to pull away from them. Now they tie it, the building’s got a little bit of energy and it must have been two-and-a-half, three minutes, that line did an unreal job forechecking. You can’t underestimate what Kunitz and Callahan did.

"And then Brown put that one in. We kind of held on after that. They may not get the points other guys do, but they’ve had some big ones for us and that was a big one.”

The Ducks had a goal attempt reviewed, but denied, by Brian Montour. The same thing happened when Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan was denied after a review.

"We thought the Callahan one was in so they both worked each other out,” Cooper said. “The one thing I thought, I thought it hit the back of the net. It kind of made that sound and it was actually his pads. Once I saw it hit his pads then looked at a bunch of angles and couldn’t tell, much like the Callahan one.”

Tampa Bay, now 14-2-2, returns home. The Lighting plays against Dallas Thursday night. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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