Lightning gets Starred and Spezza’ed

By on October 16, 2015

 Jason Spezza (90) is congratulated by teammates as he scored the 5th Stars goal. Sepia was named the number one star. (Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

Jason Spezza (90) is congratulated by teammates after he scored the 5th Stars goal. Spezza was named the number one star. (Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports)

Tonight was the first Western Conference matchup against the Central Division’s Dallas Stars to begin the Lightning’s two game home stand. Tampa Bay and Dallas were the two top scoring teams in the NHL last season.  The Lightning first with 259 goals, Dallas second with 257.  The Lightning won both meetings against the Stars last season with both teams having a combined goal count of 17. The Lightning netminder in both of those matchups was Andrei Vasilevskiy and he saved 64 of 71 shots against the Stars to sweep the two game series for Tampa Bay.

The Lightning faced the Stars tonight with Big Ben in the crease. Just as you would expect with only 2:24 off the clock in the first period Steven Stamkos rips a slap shot past Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen with the helper coming from Johnathan Drouin to sound the goal horn at the Amalie Arena.

The Stars Tyler Seguin opens the scoring for Dallas at 8:58 assists to Jyrki Jokipakka and Jordie Benn to tie the matchup at 1-1. Then things started to heat up with a penalty to the Stars John Klingberg for holding at 10:34 but the Lightning were unable to capatilize on their first power play of the game. Tampa forward Vladislav Namestinikov commits the Lightnings first penalty of the game just as their first power play is winding down at 13:20. Unfortunately for the Lightning the Stars Jamie Benn with the help of Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin are able to slip their first power play goal by Big Ben at 14:14. At the end of the first period the score was 2-1 Dallas.

The second period proved to be action packed with Dallas scoring two more goals by Cody Eakin helpers Mattias Janmark and Colton Sceviour at even strength at 9:34 and a second power play goal by Jason Demers with the assist by Cody Eakin and Ales Hemsky at 18:12. During the second period the physicality of the game increased with a lot of pushing, shoving and some major penalties including a 5 minute checking from behind with a game misconduct for the Lightnings defenseman Nikita Nesterov that took him out of this fiery contest. Unfortunately Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman also left the ice with an undisclosed injury,  he had 11:44 of ice time.  The Dallas Stars were ahead at the end of the second period 4-1.

The Lightning were not going to give up easily as they turned up their offensive fire power.  Vladislav Namistekov lights it with the assist from Captain Steven Stamkos and now the score is 4-2 at the 7:06 mark in the third.

Just one minute and 24 seconds later Steven Stamkos with the help of Jonathan Drouin and Brian Boyle at 8:44 notched Stamkos’ second goal of the night with all of the brilliance of a top NHL goal scorer. It was Stamkos’ 4th goal of the season. The crowd inside what we affectionaly call “The Oil Can” became electric. “Lets go Lightning!”

Then, Lightning killer Jason Spezza slows down the hysterics at 10:29 and puts the Stars ahead 5-3 which would be the eventual final.  Ales Hemsky and Alex Goligoski assisted and Spezza earned the #1 Star.

The Lightning get back in the Eastern Conference at “The Oil Can” Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres.






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