After a heartbreaking 4-0 loss Tuesday night to the Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning intended to keep their playoff hopes alive on Thursday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.
Andrei Vasilevskiy was in net for the Bolts trying to go for his 21st win on the season.
Following a very unproductive first period from both sides in terms of offense, the second period started off with a Brayden Point (15) power play goal as he found a good position to fire off a shot from the left circle past Maple Leafs’ goalie Frederik Andersen at the 7:34 mark.
Less than two minutes later, the Leafs got one of their own, as Nazam Kadri (32) put in a tip-in goal off a shot that would’ve gone into Vasilevskiy’s mit, tying the game 1-1 in the middle of the second period.
After another two minutes passed, Nikita Kucherov (39) took over with an amazing solo effort to put the Bolts ahead 2-1. It was poetry in motion as the goal gave Tampa Bay a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 7, 2017
After the Kucherov goal, the Lightning seemed to pick it up after looking like the Maple Leafs may catch them sleeping shortly after the Kadri goal. Going into the final period with the 2-1 advantage, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper must’ve told the boys what needed to happen in order to finish the game off, because they came into the third period hot.
It started quickly, as Michael Bournival (2) slapped a perfect pass from Andrej Sustr into the back of the net, giving the Bolts a 3-1 advantage and some breathing room just two minutes into the final period.
After a long stretch of great defense from the Lightning defenders, the game was finally topped off with another awesome Point goal, as he hesitated and then slung the puck over Anderson’s shoulder, making it 4-1 with just under six minutes remaining.
The 4-1 victory keeps the Lightning playoff hopes alive and boosts the confidence of the Bolts after a tough loss Tuesday. It propels the Bolts to 40-30-10 and pushes them within three points of the Maple Leafs for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning return to the ice tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 PM.
Three Stars Of The Game
1st Star: Victor Hedman – Three assists
2nd Star: Brayden Point – Two goals
3rd Star: Andrei Vasilevskiy – Stopped 26 of 27 shots