Penalty kill helps Lightning overcome Devils

by Gary Shelton on January 28, 2022

in general

Joseph's short-handed goal lifted Lightnnig./Tim Wirt

Friday, 4 a.m.

It was midway through the second period, and the Tampa Bay Lighting had the New Jeeesey Devils right where they wanted them.

The score was tied, 1-1, and the Bolts were facing a four-minute minor after Jan Rutta was called for high-sticking.

Which is when the Bolts went to work.

Despite the Devils' power play, the Bolts owned the ice for the session, shutting down the Devils' power play and getting a short-handed goal from Mathieu Joseph. The Bolts would go on to win 3-2 to remain in second place in the NHL's Atlantic Division.

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Cirelli scored the winning goal./Tim Wirt

It was the second short-handed goal of the year by Joseph

"That was a big point for us," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "Just the way the game had gone that first 10 minutes. New Jersey played well. We were rusty. I thought, off in our execution. The kill was huge, especially to top it off by getting a shorty."

Joseph stole the puck at mid-ice, doive to the net and shot. His initial shot was stopped, but the rebound came back to him and he knocked it in.

"Fortunate," Joseph admitted.

All three goals, in fact, came on rebounds by the Bolts. Alex Killorn got one on a power-play goal early in the second period, and Anthony Cirelli's tap-in provided the winning goal in the third period.

“Every goal isn't going to be pretty, backdoor, tap-in, six passes," Cooper said. "Especially the way teams defend. If you're not going to create in those areas, it's going to be tough for you to win. You get into one-goal games, you're going to need those."

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 31 saves for his 24th victory of the season.

The Bolts are home on Saturday night against Las Vegas. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

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