Lightning holds off Preds in narrow victory

by Gary Shelton on January 31, 2021

in general

Stamkos scored the winning goal./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Lightning would have had a lot to celebrate over their Saturday night victory over the Nashville Predators.

That is, except for that bullet whizzing past their collective ears.

The Bolts broke a two-game losing streak, beating the Predators 4-3 at Amalie Arena. That was good enough news, because the Press had recorded a point in 13 straight games against Tampa Bay.

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But as the game ended, the Preds were on a surge that threatened the game. Tampa Bay had a 4-1 lead at one point, but Nashville scored two goals and then hit a post to threaten the Bolts.

Coach Jon Cooper was unhappy with the Lightning's shot totals.

"When we’re having success, we’re shooting the puck," Cooper said. "We didn’t shoot in the first period. We’re leaving plays out there. We’re not taking eyes away. If you let the goalies see pucks, they make plays.

"It’s not the shots on goal. It’s the attempted shots. I think we had 14 attempts in the first period. That’s not enough. We need to have more than 20."

After two periods, the Bolts looked like they were in position to feel good about themselves. Cal Foote scored his first NHL goal, and Tyler Johnson scored his first of the year. Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos also had goals.

"It was a great feeling," Foote said. "Pretty awesome."

The Lightning is home Monday night in another game against Nashville.

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