Lightning pulls away late to beat Chicago

by Gary Shelton on January 4, 2023

in general

Elliott won his eighth game./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Three penalties in the first period were a problem. The Tampa Bay Lightning looked so uncomfortable against a terrible Chicago teams.

Three posts in the second period were frustrating. The Bolts straightened out much of their attack, but they couldn't figure out a way to get the puck into the net,

Ah, but three goals in the third period were a relief. The Bolts closed out their 4-1 win over a Blackhawks team that has now lost 13 of 14 games.

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Killorn stayed hot./TIM WIRT

The Bolts have now won 11 of 14 games.

Still, being tied 1-1 with a lousy opponent after two periods is a bit troubling.,

"The big thing for us is that we got out of that first period tied 1-1," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "We were a little flat. Long day in the hotel, We didn’t come to the rink this morning. Give Chicago credit. They pushed on us. But (Brian) Elliott  made some big saves for us in the first."

Elliott is now 8-2 on the season as a backup goaltender. He stopped 25 of 26 shots on the night.

The Bolts got goals from Pat Maroon (a one-handed deflection), from Alex Killorn (who has five goals in seven games), from Brandon Hagel (who was returning to Chicago, where he started last season) and a short-handed empty netter from Nick Paul.

Hagel also had an assist.

“He's brought tons of memories for the fans," Cooper said. "He wasn’t here a super long time, but he had an impact. He’s having that same impact for us. He’s such great kid."

Cooper joked that he liked Hagel's game until Hagel took a penalty late in the game.

The Lightning now travel to Minnesota to play the Wild tonight (9:30 p.m., TNT).

Hagel returned to Chicago./TIM WIRT

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