Fresh off a very successful back-to-back weekend road trip that yielded four out of four possible points, the Lightning might have been expecting an easier time against an Arizona team playing their second game in a road back-to-back. If so those, expectations were dashed by an outstanding outing from Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue, who stopped 34 of 36 shots. Coupled with pressure from the Arizona attack early in the third, the Lightning had to work for this one.
Fortunately, the Lightning got an equally impressive outing from netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy who stopped 29 of 30 on the other end, plus an oddly common Amalie Arena occurrence that is also a Lightning rarity.
The Lightning were on the board first at 12:38 of the first on a goal from Steven Stamkos, assisted by Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn. The primary assist was originally awarded to Andrej Sustr but was reviewed later.
That 1-0 lead held into the first intermission and through almost all of the second period.
With just five seconds remaining in the middle period and the Lightning shorthanded, Cedric Paquette was awarded a penalty shot. Seven of 49 penalty shots in the NHL this season have been taken on Amalie Arena ice. but this was the first time since April 8, 2011 that the Lightning converted successfully.
The Coyotes came out strong to begin the third and pretty much carried play for most of the period, particularly dominating in faceoffs.
This effort paid off at the 4:06 mark when Jordan Martinook scored on assists from Michael Stone and Shane Doan to cut the lead in half.
The Lightning were able to hold on the rest of the way and come out with their fourth straight win.
They will now head out on the road for four games, the first of which is Friday when they visit the New Jersey Devils.
- Forward Nikita Kucherov practiced earlier in the day but did not play.
- Slater Koekkoek was sent down to Syracuse following Matt Taormina being called up Monday,
- Rehabbing defenseman Jason Garrison also participated in the morning skate but was held out.
- Vincent Lecavalier was the last Lightning player before Paquette to score on a penalty shot nearly five years ago.
- Valtteri Filppula skated in the 700th game of his NHL career.
- The Lightning honored Dotti Groover-Skipper as the 32nd Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game. Groover-Skipper, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Underground Network. Tonight's community hero has served the Tampa Bay area tirelessly for over 30 years. Groover-Skipper has formed several coalitions in order to quietly serve those who have been affected by addiction, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. One of the coalitions, The FREE Network, has been at the forefront by assisting law enforcement with victims while educating communities on labor, sex and organ trafficking. Her time and energy towards this cause has heightened awareness of human trafficking throughout various communities to ensure education amongst local youth. She wishes to leave a legacy of safe communites and vows that Tampa Bay is a no tolerance zone for the exploitation of all forms of human trafficking. Groover-Skipper becomes the 211th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.7 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.