NBCSN showed a stat in the beginning of the game that had Peter Budaj with seven shutouts on the season and Bishop with zero. Bishop now has one and received the second star of the night for his first shutout of the season. Thank you, Bish. Vladdy got the third star, and Kucherov got first with two goals.
Speaking of Kucherov, his skill and playmaking ability continue to help us win games. Even at times when the Bolts played underwhelmingly, such as in the first period, Kuckerov at times was able to ignite the team regardless of whether they were playing badly with little zone time.
Often this season, the Bolts have had careless turnovers in their own zone. This happened less than usual tonight and definitely contributed to their win.
1st Period (1-0)
Through the first minute of play neither team had many chances. The Kings occasionally had a fast break from turnovers and line changes but were unable to establish time in the zone. Jake Dotchin had a great look early on but shot wide right.
Later, Andrej Sustr had a terrible pass which got intercepted by a Kings defenseman. Anze Kopitar got the shot on net but Ben Bishop was able to make the stop. On the ensuing shift, Boyle’s line was able to get some zone time but did not have any dangerous chances.
The Bolts’ first penalty would come 4:15 into play as Victor Hedman went to the box for hooking. Kopitar had a shot that somehow got through Sustr and to Bishop, but he was able to get a glove on it. The Kings maintained possession and momentum after the power play but it eventually was successfully cleared by J.T. Brown.
As Hedman came back out on the ice, Tyler Johnson got tripped up by Drew Doughty, but was called for embellishment. The crowd was displeased.
The Kings had a fast break, but Valtteri Filppula and Jonathan Drouin were able to get a great backcheck going. Drouin came off the left face-off circle and took an absolute wringer of a wrister to get the puck in the net. The Bolts were able to keep possession afterword until a bad Brayden Coburn turnover led to a shot by Jake Muzzin and a save by Bishop. Coburn would go on to have a few sloppy shifts within the period.
The Bolts got their first power play after Marian Gaborik committed a trip 9:41 into the frame. Kucherov had a nice look after a pass from Hedman. Then, Hedman had a feed from Kucherov that looked like a sure goal, but he was unable to settle the puck and the shot went wide.
After that, Anton Stralman played the puck poorly in the defensive zone which led to a shot on net by Tyler Toffoli. The ensuing shift saw Brayden Point and Drouin with a connection in the offensive zone, but goaltender Peter Budaj was able to make an easy stop.
Although Bishop had a few miscues late in the period, he ended up saving 19 shots.
Shots, Kings: 19 - Bolts: 6
2nd Period (4-0)
Two minutes in, a big hit from Nic Dowd on Drouin lead to a scrum behind the Bolts’ net, with Andy Andreoff and Sustr both called for roughing. Boyle got called for an offside which somehow turned into a scrum. This is why we love Boyle. (Side note: according to the Bolts jumbo-tron it takes 651 hockey pucks to equal Brian Boyle's weight. The more you know!)
Through much of the period both teams traded zone time and possession. Eventually Kucherov was able to get a breakaway with 6:55 left in the period. Vladislav Namestnikov and Sustr both got assists on the goal, Kucherov’s 20th of the season.
For a time, the Kings had zone possession that led to a puck sitting in the crease as Bishop was unable to get to it, but it was eventually cleared. Gabriel Dumont scores his first career goal with the Bolts at 11:02 into the period, with the assists to Brown and Hedman, who did a great job setting up the play.
Kucherov’s line had a nice shift as the puck took an odd bounce off a stanchion and ended up near the goal. The shot would be saved, however. Kucherov accidentally ran into a ref after the whistle and hugged him; it was a special moment for ref and player relationships everywhere. [Zach? - Acha]
Toffoli had a seemingly open net but was unable to handle the puck as it slid through the crease. He came back down the ice shortly after but a Bolt defenseman made a successful diving block.
The Bolts had a 3-1 situation but shot wide. Later the Bolts would have a 2-1 situation, but this time with Kucherov, who capitalized on a great feed by Vladdy. Luke Witkowski would also get an assist at 18:18 into the frame.
Shots would end Kings: 22 - Bolts: 14
3rd Period (5-0)
The Kings came out swinging, understandably so after being down 4-0. Early on, Cedric Paquette had a open look at the slot, but the puck went off Budaj’s shoulder.
The Kings’ aggression led to a penalty from Toffoli as he shoved Bishop to the ice, and the refs booked him for goaltender interference about six minutes into the frame. In general, it was a strong shift by the Bolts and overall a strong power-play. Vladdy had a shot, but it was cleared by Doughty.
The Kings were great at getting bodies in front of the net but Bishop stood strong on multiple occasions. A shot from blah led to a great backhand shot by Coburn.
The final five minutes were sort of listless by the Kings. The Bolts really tightened up their play and were able to have success at shot suppression for much of the second and third periods.
The final goal of the night was scored by an unexpected player: Braydon Coburn.
Haven't said that too many times this year. Coburn with his second goal of the year as he collects Drouin's rebound. 5-0 Lightning.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) February 8, 2017
That goal was only Coburn's 3rd regular season goal with the Lightning and his 40th career goal. Also had one in playoffs in 14-15.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) February 8, 2017
Bishop almost lost his shutout with 30 seconds to go, but managed to end the game with a 28-shot shutout, in honor of Stamkos’s 27th birthday. Winning two in a row felt...pretty great, actually. See the highlights of the shutout below.