TAMPA – The Lightning quickly balanced out a quiet trade deadline day with a noisier game night ending with a 4-3 shootout win.
Just 65 seconds into the game and 10 seconds into Tampa Bay’s first power play, Brayden Point found the open net coming down the middle of the ice.
He skated toward the net with three Kings in his wake and awaited a pass from Steven Stamkos.
Point cradled the puck on his stick, first making a move to his right and then quickly sliding it against the ice to his left. And in one swift movement he scored, notching his 18th power play goal of the season and opening up the scoring for the Lightning-Kings matchup.
Point’s goal only launched an exciting affair for the Lightning the rest of the night.
About seven minutes later Anthony Cirelli tipped the puck into the net off Yanni Gourde and Braydon Coburn who took a shot from the blue line.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was about 15 minutes away from logging his 19th career shutout when the Kings found their way onto the board 5:20 into the third period. And they were hard to stop once they got going.
The Kings put their second goal on the board about five minutes later, tying the game at 2-all. Thirty-six seconds later L.A.’s Austin Wagner broke the tie and put the Kings in the lead for the first time all season.
It didn’t take long for the Lightning to tie it back up as J.T. Miller scored a goal off a one-timer, notching his 11th goal of the season.
“The third period, obviously we need to correct some things,” Stamkos said after the game. “We had a two-goal lead at home, that needs to be automatic for our group, and it should be.”
With the game forced into overtime everything was on the line for both teams, but neither could make another goal in the five-minute period.
It was a consistent back-and-forth in the shootout, going four rounds before Victor Hedman put a stop on the night with the final shootout goal, notching a win for his team at home.
“It’s great,” Hedman said. “We’re a confident group and we got to keep working on our game and can’t get satisfied just by winning games.”
Monday’s shootout was Tampa Bay’s fourth of the month, all but one (against the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 5) ending in a win for the Lightning.
The penalty kill was strong once again throughout Monday night’s display, proving once again why GM Julien BriseBois didn’t feel like it was necessary to add an extra ingredient to the experienced roster.
The Lightning also went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill against the Kings, further improving its second-ranked success rate among the league.
Point’s power play goal was the only penalty chance (out of four on the night) that the Lightning capitalized on against the Kings. Coming into the matchup Tampa Bay was ranked first in the league on the power play.
Vasilevskiy was strong in the net for the Lightning saving 30 shots on goal. The All-Star goaltender helped his team tie a franchise record with its ninth-consecutive win before heading out to play the Rangers Wednesday.
“We found a way,” Stamkos said. “Nine-straight wins is something to be proud of, but we just want to continue to get better.”
Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. Follow @faiello_mari.