Tuesday Night at the Prudential Center in NJ, The Tampa Bay Find-a-ways scored a colossal five unanswered goals, three of them coming in the third period, to complete a comeback. The Bolts, who were down 3-1 going into the second period, were revitalized in late in the second with goals from Captain Steven Stamkos and forward Alex Killorn to tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and 2nd overall in the league.
Yet Again, Too Much Time Off Leads To A Sluggish Start
Like we saw in the last matchup against Colorado, the sporadic amount of games this month has not been kind to the Lightning, and this has left the Tampa Bay players to allow more goals in the first half of the game than usual. This usually leaves the team to constantly chase the lead, and when you add that most goals are befuddled defensive errors, you have such as Eric Cernak, a world-class defenseman, creating cretinous errors right in front of our net.
Despite freshly extended forward Pat Maroon scoring a big goal to give the Lightning some extra life a mere 38 seconds after, it would not be enough. We would fall behind on a PP goal late in the first and another foolish turnover in our own zone to make it a two-goal deficit.
Lightning Strikes Twice To Initiate A Comeback
The Tampa Bay Lightning have proven over the years that they have a quick-strike offensive that, when activated, can quickly change the outcome of a game. The Lightning did just that and, within the span of 41 seconds, scored two goals to tie the game up and swing the momentum in their favor.
Steven Stamkos started it off with a goal from the high slot that he slings off the corner of the post, and that is just sensational to watch. Alex Killorn then tipped a shot from defenseman Mikhail Sergachev that leveled the score at 3-3 heading into the 2nd intermission. Then in the third period, the floodgates opened.
Finding A Way To Victory ; What Lies Ahead
Speaking about the game, Lightning Forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare said, “It was 20 minutes where we didn’t play the right way, we turned over the puck, and we just gave them freebies, “They’re a good team. They have good, talented kids. If you give them momentum by doing that in the bad areas, they’re going to make you pay the price. But if we put the puck deep and forecheck the way we know how to do, we’re going to win the puck back, and eventually, that puck’s going to go in.”
Sure enough, line changes by Head Coach John Cooper created the spark that the team needed to push through and complete the comeback. These changes included:
- 1st Line – Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov
- 2nd Line – Ondrej Palat, Ross Colton, Mathieu Joseph,
- 3rd Line Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh,
- 4th Line (Unchanged) Pat Maroon, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, Corey Perry,
However, Cooper confirmed that these line changes wouldn’t be permanent in his post-game conference. “Sometimes, you need to move things around a little bit,” Cooper said. “Hopefully, it’s not an everyday thing, but it gave us a boost tonight, and we’ll take it.”
Unfortunately, the Lightning have a full week before they retake the ice at home against the Edmonton Oilers on February 23 before heading to Nashville for the highly anticipated 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series. The week-long break is concerning, as we have already seen the effects of having too much time off for the Lightning, but then again, there’s a reason Captain Steven Stamkos calls his team “The Tampa Bay Find A Ways.”