Talk about fast starts. Saturday’s game wasn’t four minutes old when three goals were scored: the Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones, then the Lightning’s Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. Amalie Arena announcer Paul Porter didn’t even have to time to announce the first one to the crowd, scored 2:30 in, before the Lightning had a 2-1 lead.
If I’m ever going to be honored for a monumental achievement — I’m not, but if I were — I’d want to be feted before a Lightning game. Whether it’s Marty St. Louis’ number being retired, the 25th anniversary of the inaugural team or the celebration of the ’04 Cup champs, it’s hard to believe a team does it better than the Lightning.
Nikita Kucherov did what he does best, burying a shot from the left faceoff circle in the first period for his league-leading 14th goal of the season. But did you see the pass from defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to set it up? The kid gives the offense another element with his ability to find open teammates.