Bolts win fifth straight with fast start

by Gary Shelton on January 21, 2024

in general

Motte scored a short-handed goal./TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

How hot is the Tampa Bay Lightning? It’s so hot that even the lesser names are joining in.

The Bolts beat Buffalo, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon for its fifth straight win, For once, the big names of Kucherov, Stamkos and Point didn’t dominate the stat sheet. 

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de Haan closed out the game./TIM WIRT

Instead, the key names were:

— Tyler Motte, who scored the winning goal on a short-handed goal, his team’s second of the season.

— Calvin de Haan, who scored the clinching goal, on an empty-netter.

— And Jonas Johansson, who shook off three weeks of rust and stopped 27 of 28 shots.

The Bolts have now won 10 of their last 14 games.

Lightning coach John Cooper was pleased with his team’s defense.

'I thought the team played really well in front of (Johansson),” Cooper said. “The big save was the breakaway in the third. That was the chance he got and he made that save. It’s a tough position (backup goalie) to be in. He knew his role coming in, but if we’re going to get back into this thing, we’re going to need both of the guys going.”

The Bolts had not fared well on the road (eight wins coming in), but they scored on their first two shots of the game (Nick Paul and Motte). They had only 14 shots afterward, but the defense made the score stand up.

Tampa Bay is on the road tonight to face the Detroit Red Wings.

Johansson won his 10th game./TIM WIRT

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