Streaking Bolts take care of Columbus

by Gary Shelton on December 16, 2022

in general

Hagel scored two goals./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

They are streaking now.

They are flying to open spaces, leaving skid marks as they skate. They are rolling. They are daring their opponents to keep up.

They are the Tampa Bay Lightning, and watch them go.

The Bolts won again Thursday night, beating Columbus 4-1 to complete their six-game homestand at 5-1. Once again, they Bolts surged in the final period, and once again, their top line led them.

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Point has 10 goals in 10 games./TIM WIRT

And speaking of streaks.

-- Goaltender Brian Elliott won his seventh straight game, the longest streak in the NHL this season.

-- Forward Brayden Point scored the winning goal, getting his 10th goal in the last 10 games.

-- Forward Nikita Kucherov had three more assists. giving the No. 1 line a total of 20 points over the homestand.

In this six games, the Bolts have 11 third-period goals. They’veallowed only five, three of them in a loss to Detroit.

“You ‘ve got to win your games at home ... or most of them," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "That’s what we did. It’s little tougher on the road for obvious reasons.  It was a good homestand. The defensive side we got much better at as things gone on."

The Bolts got five points from their top line. Brandon Hagel scored the last two goals of the night and Point got his 16th. Pierre-Eduardo Bellemare scored his first goal of the season.

The Bolts final goal came when Kucherov -- who leads the NHL in assists -- was free with an empty net in front of him. Instead of scoring, he passed the puck back to Hagel, who scored.

"I guess that’s why he’s got a letter on his jersey," Hagel said. "That’s respect to him.  Thinking about it now, maybe I should have given it back, but I’ll take it."

The Bolts now go on the road, traveling to Montreal for a Saturday night game. The game begins at 7 p.m. 

Bellemare scored his first of the year./TIM WIRT

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