Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning's Dominic Moore makes most of opportunity to unleash slap shot

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TAMPA — When it comes to slap shots, Dominic Moore knows the quicker the better.

He's not just talking about the speed of the shot, though the past few weeks at practices and pregame skates the Lightning center has worked on his foot-to-foot weight transfer to gain power and wrist snap to add a few extra miles per hour.

He is talking about not letting the goaltender set up.

"Getting (the shot) off quick," Moore said, is "the key."

The training, physical and mental, paid off in Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Bruins that broke Tampa Bay's seven-game losing streak.

Moore's blast from the top of the left faceoff circle — with a short windup and off a cross-ice pass from Ryan Malone that hit Moore in stride — beat goalie Tim Thomas to the long side to break a 3-3 tie with 3:45 left in the third period.

It was a startling display from a player known more for getting in the dirty areas in the slot and in front of the net, where goals rarely are pretty and are scored with short shots, finesse backhands and off rebounds.

"He has a really good shot," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "He just doesn't use it enough."

This has been a different kind of season for Moore, 31. He has four goals in 45 games and is on pace for seven, well below last season's career-best 18. But with 12 assists, Moore is on pace for 22, which would be the second most in his career.

"His statistics … in terms of goals scored don't reflect the talent offensively that he has," Lightning assistant Marty Raymond said. "He hasn't had the same luck around the net."

Actually, Moore is closer to his norm when it comes to goals as he has averaged 10 in six previous full NHL seasons.

"I enjoy grinding it out in the corners and making things happen," Moore said Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

"I think, maybe, a lot of my game is focused on creating opportunities; not necessarily being the shooter, but being down and working the corners and being in front of the net."

That mentality is part of why Raymond called Moore, 6 feet, 192 pounds, "one of the most competitive players I've seen."

He showed it during last season's playoffs, with three goals and 11 points in 18 games, and Dec. 8 against the Rangers.

Moore broke the facial bones of Marty St. Louis with a backhand shot during the morning skate. His late third-period goal tied the score, and his shootout goal won it.

"He has that knack for coming up big," Raymond said. "That's why we like him so much. Competitiveness is important. Skills are important, but to compete under pressure is huge."

He did that against the Bruins as he also had an assist and won 57 percent of his faceoffs. It was the slap shot, though, which Thomas said "just beat me," that was the wow moment.

"He can definitely rip it," Raymond said.

"I have to look for opportunities to use it," Moore said. "I have to look for soft areas where I can get that shot off."

Progress: Defenseman Victor Hedman (concussion) has begun light workouts in addition to light skating, the team said.

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