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Lightning score two shorthanded goals on one penalty

Getting off to a good start was important for the Lightning and they did so with a heckuva penalty kill.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Mikhail Sergachev celebrates his shorthanded goal with teammate Yanni Gourde (37) as Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak skates away during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Boston.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Mikhail Sergachev celebrates his shorthanded goal with teammate Yanni Gourde (37) as Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak skates away during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Boston. [ WINSLOW TOWNSON | AP ]
Published Mar. 8, 2020

BOSTON — The Lightning wanted to set the tone for Saturday’s game. Killing a penalty by not allowing one of the league’s best power plays a single shot is a good way to do that.

Oh, and scoring two shorthanded goals on that single penalty doesn’t hurt either. A penalty kill can’t get much better than that.

“Whenever you can do that at the beginning of the game, to get a two-goal lead on the same power play, that’s huge momentum for us,” Alex Killorn said.

Related: Lightning win physical game against Bruins

Barclay Goodrow was called for elbowing five minutes into Saturday’s game. You could almost hear the collective groan from Lightning fans. This looked like the perfect opportunity for the Bruins (and their 25.1 percent power play) to seize control.

Instead it immediately went the other way.

Cedric Paquette won the initial faceoff to start the penalty. Anthony Cirelli grabbed the puck and took off up the ice. He beat winger David Pastrnak and had only defenseman Torey Krug between him and the net. Before Krug could try to force Cirelli to one side or the other, Cirelli released a wrist shot to put the Lightning on the board.

Just 62 seconds later, Mikhail Sergachev added another shorty.

Again, Paquette started things off, this time creating a turnover in the neutral zone as the Bruins tried to break out with the puck. Yanni Gourde batted the loose puck back into the offensive zone and chased it down. He turned and set up Sergachev in the slot for goal No. 2.

The Lightning’s penalty kill struggled in October, but then became one of the league’s most consistent units for the next four months. The kill was nearly perfect through the team’s 11-game winning streak.

Recently, Tampa Bay has taken more penalties and allowed more power-play goals, though still one or two a game. In the last two weeks, the unit has fallen back to average numbers, ranked 22nd over that stretch.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.

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