Lightning overcome temporary brain deadness to run win streak to 8.
Ben Bishop allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the victory. He was extremely solid, and he had to be to help the Lightning weather the important moments in this game.
4:14 TB Paquette(5), (Brown, Hedman)
18:33 TB Palat(8), (Johnson)
5:24 OTT Methot(3), (Smith)
18:14 TB Kucherov(25), (unassisted)
19:46 TB Stamkos(29), (Stralman)(EN)
Bishop and Nikita Kucherov were the game's first and second stars.
The Lightning made that harder than they needed to, and it's not a tape they'll be looking at for aesthetic reasons. They built the 2-0 lead through 40 minutes by playing solid, opportunistic road hockey. They really were pushing hard for the put away goal early in the Third Period, and they started getting sloppy on their breakouts, which led to about 10-15 minutes of nail biting. You simply cannot have the unforced turnovers at your own blueline, and the Lightning were just playing braindead hockey for that span of the game. Fortunately Bishop was solid and fortunately Pageau made an even worse unforced turnover to Kucherov in the OTT slot to get the put away goal and avoid the photo finish.
At the time of this posting, Colorado holds a 3-2 lead over the Panthers. If that holds up, the Lightning will again be in a tie atop the Atlantic Division. Either way, the Lightning already have 8 of the minimum 12 points they need out of this 10 game segment of the season with 6 games left in it. That means they're in excellent shape to squirrel away a lot of points heading into the very last segment of the regular season.
Nikita Nesterov was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 15:11. Tonight was his 41st game of the season, meaning he is now graduated from prospect status on the website. He put in a pretty good performance at both ends of the rink to celebrate the occasion, too.