Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Special teams power Lightning past Senators (w/video)

TAMPA — The Lightning knew it needed a significant response from its special teams Sunday night, having allowed three power-play goals in Friday's crushing collapse against Washington.

"It's been costing us games," coach Jon Cooper said. "If we're going to get back into this thing, our special teams need to be better."

Both units were Sunday, Tampa Bay killing off all five Senators power plays in a 5-2 win in front of 19,092 at Amalie Arena. The Lightning (17-14-4), which has won nine of its past 14 to pull within two points of Ottawa for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, was boosted by two power-play goals, just the third time this season it has had a couple in one game.

"Hopefully," captain Steven Stamkos said, "this can be a springboard for our confidence."

Tampa Bay did it shorthanded. Entering the game without five regulars, the Lightning played with 10 forwards after Brian Boyle (upper body) left the game less than two minutes in after his head hit the boards and the ice on a hit by Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Boyle was considered day to day.

"It's kind of scary when you walk into the room after the game and there's eight guys lined up that are injured," Stamkos said. "You're hoping they come back. But good teams find ways to win. There's a lot of back-pocket excuses, but we found ways during this tough stretch."

Stamkos continued his resurgence because of a shoot-first mentality. He scored two goals (one an empty-netter) on seven shots, giving him three goals and 12 shots in the past two games.

"Five shots the other night, (he) scored," Cooper said. "He had seven (Sunday), has two (goals). Simple math."

The Lightning also continued to get a lift from #TampaCuse. Center Mike Angelidis, one of seven AHL Syracuse forwards called up this season, scored the winning goal, pouncing on a rebound early in the second period. It was Angelidis' first NHL goal since the 2011-12 season.

"It's been a long time, and it was awesome," he said.

Mike Blunden and Jonathan Marchessault got assists.

"They call them #TampaCuse, and that's kind of where we are right now," Cooper said. "These guys are all contributing."

It didn't look good early, with the Senators scoring shorthanded four minutes in for a 1-0 lead. "That could have been a turning point in the game where we say, 'Oh, boy, here we go,' " Stamkos said.

But the Lightning responded a minute later with a power-play goal from Nikita Nesterov, then another two minutes later by Stamkos on a ticktacktoe play to make it 2-1.

"That was big," Stamkos said. "We kind of changed the momentum to our side and never looked back."

The Senators, down to four defensemen after Borowiecki's game misconduct and an injury to Cody Ceci, pulled within 3-2 with five minutes left in the second on a goal by defenseman Erik Karlsson, who logged 36 minutes, 34 seconds of playing time.

But Tampa Bay, clinging to a one-goal lead, killed off a power play with five minutes to go before two empty-netters sealed it. "It came down to special teams," Cooper said.

Lightning 2 1 2 5
Senators 1 1 0 2
Lightning 2 1 2 5
Senators 1 1 0 2

 

First1, Ott, Smith 8 (Lazar), 4:20 (sh). 2, TB, Nesterov 1 (Hedman, Killorn), 5:23 (pp). 3, TB, Stamkos 13 (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 7:16 (pp). PenaltiesBorowiecki, Ott, served by Prince (interference -, fighting), 1:40; Coburn, TB, served by Marchessault, minor-major-misconduct (instigator, fighting), 1:40; Smith, Ott (tripping), 6:03; Callahan, TB (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:50; Bishop, TB, served by Blunden (hooking), 19:51.

Second4, TB, Angelidis 1 (Blunden, Marchessault), 2:45. 5, Ott, Karlsson 9 (Hoffman, Pageau), 14:28. PenaltiesKucherov, TB (hooking), 3:03; Kucherov, TB (holding), 12:22.

Third6, TB, Killorn 6, 18:27 (en). 7, TB, Stamkos 14 (Kucherov, Namestnikov), 18:40 (en). PenaltiesNamestnikov, TB (high-sticking), 14:55. Missed Penalty ShotFilppula, TB, 8:56 third. Shots on GoalOtt 8-10-7—25. TB 11-14-10—35. Power-play opportunitiesOtt 0 of 5; TB 2 of 3. GoaliesOtt, Hammond 2-2-2 (33 shots-30 saves). TB, Bishop 14-10-2 (25-23).

Comments
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

Lightning face Blues in showdown between NHL’s top two teams

The Lightning's west coast trip will start with a bang tonight in St. Louis.Tonight's game will pit the top two teams in the NHL, with Tampa Bay (21-6-2) atop the Eastern Conference, the Blues (21-8-2) the No. 1 team in the West.Fittingly, an NBCSN-a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

BRANDON — The best team in town had just wrapped up practice. The Lightning had a plane to catch, to St. Louis, where Tuesday in St. Louis begins a four-city road trip that ends at expansion Las Vegas, exclusive engagement, one show a night, unless y...
Published: 12/11/17
All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

TAMPA — You don’t often see a coach making shadow puppets on the wall with his hands at the start of his postgame news conference, but that’s where the Lightning is these days after sweeping a four-game home stand with Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime v...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

TAMPA — His coach says he plays every game as if he doesn’t play his best, he’s going to be sent down. That is not the case with Brayden Point, but who doesn’t want that kind of effort from a second-year player who has more than established himself i...
Published: 12/09/17

Brayden Point scores in OT to give Lightning win over Jets

TAMPA — The Jets saw Saturday’s game against the Lightning as a benchmark game, a way to measure themselves against the NHL’s top team. The Lightning had circled the game, the last of a four-game home stand."It’s going to be a big test for us," Light...
Published: 12/09/17
Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

TAMPA — How about that Lightning power play."Coaching," coach Jon Cooper said before Saturday’s game with the Jets.He was kidding."You always look like a good coach when you can throw (Nikita) Kucherov and (Steven) Stamkos and (Victor) Hedman over th...
Published: 12/09/17

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Saturday’s Lightning-Jets game

The game drew the hockey world’s attention because it matched the NHL’s top team against a rising team in the West. It was refreshing to see both treat it as more than just another game. The Jets saw a chance to measure themselves against the top tea...
Published: 12/09/17
Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

TAMPA — When Cory Conacher was called up a little over a week ago, it looked like it might be for just a one-game cameo.Center Cedric Paquette had been suspended for one game for boarding, and the Lightning, otherwise healthy up front, needed a fill-...
Published: 12/09/17