Tonight saw the Lightning defeat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 in what has been their most complete effort in recent memory. No exaggeration there. A lot of the mistakes that plagued them through the first three games of their road trip were addressed. Fewer turn overs, they were dominant in the face off circle, and were throwing hits. Add on scoring from the grinders and this was a very entertaining game to watch.
Here are some of the things that stood out this evening:
- Guy Boucher may have hit on something with that Conacher-Thompson- Palat line. Nate Thompson ended the night with two goals, the first multi-goal outing and first three point night of his career. Cory Conacher recorded two assists and Ondrej Palat had one.
- Anders Lindback looked very different from the shaky netminder who went in last night after Mathieu Garon’s injury. The quickness he showed through the early part of the season was back on display. He stopped 25 of 27 shots faced and carried a shut out bid until the latter part of the third period.
-Alex Killorn set up Marty St. Louis’ goal before scoring one of his own. The kids up from Syracuse have been a shot of adrenaline to this squad. Fast on the puck, not afraid to shoot.
-The Bolts came to each others’ aid. When Cam Janssen left his feet to check Cory Conacher into the boards, Victor Hedman was right on him. When the Devils were getting a bit too close in the crease late in the third, Lindback and the skaters in front of him physically asserted themselves. Pierre-Cedric Labrie had his second fight in as many nights and became an unexpected poet.
-B.J. Crombeen scored his first Lightning goal. On an empty net. While falling down.
Yes, there was a bit of a collapse in the third that allowed the Devils to creep back into the game. The difference from other outings was the Lightning pulled it together and finished out the game instead of collapsing.
It’s been a while since we were able to enjoy a victory, so it’s understandable that we’re going overboard a bit. It’s not a winning streak unless they can string a few of these together. Thursday night the Winnipeg Jets come to down, a must win game against a division rival. For now the boys can come home and we can enjoy the fact that they weren’t completely shut down on the road trip.