Lightning beats Chicago in familiar fashion

by Gary Shelton on January 16, 2021

in general

Stamkos is off to a torrid start./CHUCK MULLER

Saturday, 4 a.m.

It's early, but the good news so far is that the Tampa Bay Lightning doesn't seem to have last year's Stanley Cup on their minds.

Instead, they seem to be thinking about the year's

Two games in against an outmanned Chicago Blackhawks team, and the Lightning has jumped to a 2-0 start. The Bolts beat Chicago 5-2 Friday night, two nights after beating them 5-1.

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Friday night's game was a little tougher, and Chicago was a little feistier. The Lightning leapt to a 3-0 lead, but the Blackhawks scored twice in 1:51 to make it a one-goal game. But the Lightning took control back in the third period.

“I thought it was a second game of the year, " said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "We went to camp 12 days ago. Chicago played inspired today, as expected. Teams are going to get better and play better. We had our moments. I didn't think we were as on top of it as we were the (game) before. We had our moments. In the third period, we only gave up a couple of scoring chances. We killed 5 1/2 minutes of penalties in the third period. It was not as consistent effort as we had two nights before."

Still, two wins in two games is hard to quibble with.

In two games, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has stopped 57 of 60 shots.

In two games, Steven Stamkos has two goals and five points.

In two games, Ondrej Palat has scored two goals.

The Bolts have picked up at least one point in 18 of their last 19 regular season games versus Chicago, going 16-1-2 since the start of the 2010-11 regular season against the Blackhawks. Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 11 regular season home meetings with Chicago.

The Lightning won’t play again for six days when they travel to Nationwide Arena Thursday, January 21 to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. puck drop). their foe from the First Round of the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

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