Lightning-Bruins: Rewinding Tampa Bay’s win

Goaltender Louis Domingue calls his great pad save lucky. We call it skill.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Louis Domingue (70) makes a kick save on Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) during first period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (12/06/18).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Louis Domingue (70) makes a kick save on Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) during first period action at Amalie Arena in Tampa Thursday evening (12/06/18).DIRK SHADD | Times
Published December 7 2018
Updated December 7 2018

It looked like David Pastrnak had Louis Domingue beat. The Bruins winger went forehand-backhand-forehand and just as Domingue committed his body weight to the far post, Pastrnak switched to the backhand at the near post.

Domingue stretched his leg out, even with his momentum carrying him the opposite direction, got his skate to the post and his pad on the puck.

It prevented the Bruins from taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission in a game the Lightning later went on to win 3-2 on Thursday.

"Pretty lucky," Domingue said. "I probably should have known I didn't have the room to cut to his forehand. Then he was going to go to his backhand. It was a lucky save, but sometimes you have to be lucky to be good."

One man's luck (and humility) is another writer's skill. It wasn't luck that helped Domingue make the save. It was continuing to read the play and reacting.

Here are some odds and ends from Thursday's win over the Bruins:

  • Anthony Cirelli’s game-winning goal doesn’t happen without Steven Stamkos. Stamkos was instrumental in the game-winning goal. Without a stick, he blocked a shot, then laid out and batted the puck toward the blue line. It went off Pastrnak’s stick and Cirelli chased down the loose puck and moved in on a breakaway to give the Lightning a 3-1 lead with 15:57 left in the third period.
  • A quick line change led to Mathieu Joseph’s goal. At the start of the third period, the Lightning moved Joseph from the fourth line to the third line. About two minutes in, Joseph broke the tie and gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
  • Five straight wins is the Lightning’s longest win streak of the season. Previously, Tampa Bay had won four games from Nov. 3 to 8. It has also won eight of its last nine. And the Lightning has done it without goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who many could argue is their best player.
  • The Lightning remains atop the league. Tampa Bay’s 45 points its second-best start through 30 games. (46 points through 30 games last year). The next few games could lead to a re-shuffling of the top of the standings, though. Tampa Bay faces Colorado and Toronto within the next week. The Maple Leafs sit second in the league with 41 points while the Avalanche holds the No. 4 spot with 39 points.
  • All of these turnovers could catch up to the Lightning eventually. The Bruins’ only goal of the night came off Ryan McDonagh’s turnover. Pastrnak’s almost-goal came off one from Erik Cernak. This after the Red Wings scored two off turnovers on Tuesday.
  • Brayden Point moves into a tie atop the league in goals. Point and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine each have 21 goals on the season. Point scored the Lightning’s first goal, one-timing a backhanded pass from Nikita Kucherov.
  • The Lighting leads the league in goals scored. 117 goals looks pretty good. So does Tampa Bay’s 3.9 goals-per-game average, which also leads the league.
  • Alex Killorn now has 10 assists on the season. He is the ninth Lightning player to reach double digits in assists. True, Tampa Bay leads the league in goals but nine is still a lot of players to reach that mark.

Injury update: Coach Jon Cooper said Andrei Vasilevskiy is a couple of weeks from returning. He's three weeks into the four-to-six-week timeline on his fractured foot.

"When he gets skating here soon, we'll know a little bit more," Cooper said. "But in the end, even when he goes get on the ice, there's still a long process after that. It's just inching our way closer."

Cooper did not have an update on D Anton Stralman, who was expected to be re-evaluated this week. He has missed 13 games with an undisclosed "upper-body" injury.