Lightning Rollercoaster their Way to Victory against the Sabres

By on April 7, 2018

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans went on a scoring journey on Friday night while still trying to keep control of first place in the Atlantic division. The Buffalo Sabres were in town and it was another score fest at Amalie Arena with the Bolts getting on the scoreboard 30 seconds into the game with a goal from rookie Anthony Cirelli.

The “Hustle and Heart Line” with Yanni Gourde, Alex Killorn and Cirelli were outstanding all night and were a plus 14 for the game. After Buffalo tied it up, the Bolt and Sabres traded goals and the game was tied 2-2 until Nikita Kucherov scored to give the Lightning a 3-2 lead at the end of the 1st period Kucherov attained his 100th point assisting on Dan Girardi’s goal 1:04 into the second that gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.”It’s something special,” Kucherov said. “I’ll definitely remember it the rest of my life.”

 

The Lightning and goalie Adreii Vasilevskiy struggled after the Girardi goal and when Vasilevskiy didn’t hug the short side post, Buffalo took the lead 5-4 on a goal by Okposo. Vassy looked like he lost some confidence after giving up the five goals and removed his mask and looked up in concern a few times.

He settled down early in the third and Cirelli and Point scored in 47 seconds, rallying Tampa Bay  and Victor Hedman added a “seeing eye dog” empty-netter leading to a huge 7-5 win.

“We didn’t play well in the second and came back in the third, and played the right way,” Kucherov said. Kucherov credited teammates for helping him reach 100 points this season. “It’s something special. I’ll definitely remember it for the rest of my life.”

After the win the Lightning players took off their jerseys and game them to fans for fan appreciation night on their last regular season game. It was also a ceremony game as the Lightning brought back players from the past for their top 25 players in Lightning History celebration.

The Lightning has a quick turnaround up in Carolina with a chance to lock down the division and the one seed with a win in regulation or overtime, or a regulation loss by Boston against Ottawa tonight.

“Is there anything else that needs to be said?” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Win a hockey game, win the division.”

Notes: Gourde’s three points in the game gave him 64, bettering the 62 of Brad Richards in his 2000-01 rookie year.

Kucherov is just the third Lightning player with 100 points in a season, joining Vinny Lecavalier (2006-07) and Marty St. Louis (2006-07).

 

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