Joe Smith's takeaways from Thursday's Lightning-Penguins game

Published Oct. 13, 2017

You have to feel good for D Slater Koekkoek, whose patience was rewarded with a career night Thursday against the Penguins. Koekkoek, entering a make-or-break season, scored his first two career goals, which should bolster his confidence as he fights for playing time on a deep blue line.

Alex Killorn is quietly having an impressive start to the season. Killorn's career-high four assists were the product of strong play on both ends. If the Lightning can get Killorn going, it will be a huge boost to the top nine.

Mikhail Sergachev played 5:22, his lowest ice time of the season, on eight shifts. It's just a reminder that Sergachev, though immensely skilled, is a 19-year-old rookie trying to find his way into the NHL. This week's games against Washington and Pittsburgh had to be a huge learning experience for him.