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Game 47 recap: Bolts continue home streak with 3-2 shootout win over Avs

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their lead over the Colorado Avalanche with six seconds remaining in regulation but triumphed in the shootout thanks to goals from Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan and an all-around stellar effort on the night from goalie Ben Bishop. The win runs the Lightning's home winning streak to seven games.

Goaltender Ben Bishop was the difference-maker in Tampa Bay's 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night.
Goaltender Ben Bishop was the difference-maker in Tampa Bay's 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night.
Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday night.

A sellout crowd at the Amalie Arena got to see a low-scoring but entertaining game between the Lightning and Avalanche, experiencing the disappointment of losing the lead with less than ten seconds remaining followed by the anxiety of a scoreless overtime and the eventual relief (exhilaration?) of a win in the shootout.

Tampa Bay's deservedly oft-maligned power play recorded the first goal of the night early on, with Ryan Callahan cashing in at 1:58 of the first on a hooking call against Colorado's Jan Hejda. He was assisted on the play by Alex Killorn and Anton Stralman.

It appeared that the Avalanche had tied the game at 9:26 on a goal by Brad Stuart, but it was waved off after a brief discussion by the officials, due to Goaltender Interference, a call which rarely seems to go the Lightning's way.

The period ended with the Lightning on top 1-0, and holding a 15-5 edge in shots.

The Avalanche came out a different team in the second period, tying the game at the :51 mark after a flurry of activity around the Tampa Bay net, eventually getting the equalizer from Ryan O'Reilly with help from Nathan McKinnon and Hejda.

The Lightning got opportunities but the period was pretty much dominated by Colorado, as they erased the shot differential by outshooting the Lightning 20-9. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop was solid throughout the night, going on to turn away 40 of the 42 shots that came his way during regulation and overtime, plus two more stops in the eventual shootout.

"He got us two points. He was unbelievable out there, especially in overtime. It's impressive. He was definitely our best player tonight." - Callahan

The second period ended with the teams tied at one.

The Lightning regained the lead at 4:08 of the third on a goal from Stralman who got help from Valtteri Filppula.

Tampa Bay special teams came to the rescue again late in the period, successfully fighting off back-to-back penalties between 12:26 and 16:45.

As the crowd was counting down the last ten seconds and with Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov pulled for an extra skater, MacKinnon tied the game once again, this time with assistance from Gabriel Landeskog and Erik Johnson.

The resultant overtime period solved nothing, even with the Lightning shorthanded for the last :24 with Steven Stamkos in the box for hooking.

"It's tough, you know. We killed some penalties late. They end up getting one with six seconds left. We had to re-group and get ready for overtime, and we had another huge kill at the end of overtime." - Callahan

In the ensuing shootout, Nikita Kucherov and Callahan solved Varlamov while Matt Duchene was the only Avalanche skater to score, giving Tampa Bay the win.

"That's the way it goes. They scored the goals. It was a pretty good move and they scored." - Varlamov

This was the second of a three-game homestand that will be the last games before the all-star break. The Lightning will wrap up the unofficial first half when they host Vancouver on Tuesday.

Game notes:

  • This was the first of two meetings between the Lightning and Avalanche. Tampa Bay travels to Colorado on February 22.
  • The Lightning are now 11-4-2 plus one tie at home against the Avalanche.
  • Victor Hedman returned to the lineup after missing two games due to a lower body injury. He was a -1 while skating 31 shifts, logging 24:06 of ice time and incurring a Delay of Game penalty. Recently recalled Luke Witkowski was a healthy scratch.
  • The 20 shots allowed by the Lightning in the second period is a season high.
  • You know how we love to talk about streaks. It's a pleasure to report that the recent streak of losses when Ryan Callahan scores (two games) is over.
  • This was the first NHL head-to-head meeting between former Halifax Mooseheads teammates and 2013 top-three draft choices Nathan MacKinnon of Colorado and Jonathan Drouin of the Lightning. "It was fun. It was good to see him", said MacKinnon. "He looked really good tonight. I thought he made some good plays coming off the rush. He made some nice moves. He looked good for sure."
  • The Lightning honored Dr. Dexter Frederick as the 23rd Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game. Frederick, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to BEST, Calvary Community Clinic, Mt. Calvary Academy, and Bible Truth Ministries.In 2004, Dr. Frederick founded Brain Expansions Scholastic Training (BEST), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing underprivileged and underrepresented youth with the resources and exposure to pursue a career in the medical field. Over the past ten years under Frederick's leadership, the BEST program has graduated over 120 students who are either enrolled in or graduated from a college or university. Many of his BEST graduates are now practicing medicine, nursing, or dentistry in the Tampa Bay community. Dr. Frederick has received many accolades for his contributions in the Tampa Bay community through the BEST program including: Tampa Police Department's Citizen of the Year (2005), Robert Saunders Award (2009), and University of South Florida Kente Award for Community Service (2013).