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Tampa Bay Lightning break shots on goal records in win over Blackhawks

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The working title for this game during the second period was “Speed Kills the Hawks”

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks
Oct 21, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) celebrates his goal during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. 
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a record-setting night for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who put a second period clinic on the Chicago Blackhawks on the way to an eventual 6-3 win. The Lightning set a franchise record for shots on goal in a game with 55, beating a record set by the 2014-15 squad back on January 6th when the team put 52 on the Buffalo Sabres.

The Lightning also set an NHL record for most shots on goal in a period! 33 shots in the second period beat the league record that was set by the Montreal Canadiens in a 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks last year, and tied by the Dallas Stars in a 5-3 win over the Ducks this season when the two teams put up 30 shots each on Randy Carlyle’s birds.

The Lightning lost their perfect penalty kill record by inches and because of X-Ray vision late in the third period. Nick Schmaltz scored the goal with Nikita Kucherov serving a Louis Domingue game misconduct penalty.

Brayden Point led the way with the eventual game-winning goal and two assists, Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had a goal and assist, and Miller tied the two with points, notching two assists in the game. Domingue stopped 33 of 36 for the win.

First Period

The Lightning jumped out of the gate hot with a great first shift by the Point line. They were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for their entire shift, Point and Yanni Gourde stealing the puck back twice just as the Hawks thought they were going to retrieve the pressure.

Mathieu Joseph and his third line jumped out next and once again did a good job of keeping the puck in the o-zone, Anthony Cirelli getting the best chance out of the group on that shift.

Those two opening shifts were a great prelude to the next shift where Kucherov scored.

1-0

Hedman was able find the puck in a scrum of bodies near the benches and feed Kuch, who was in perfect position as an outlet for his teammates battling for the puck. Kuch picked up the puck while pivoting, walked in on Cam Ward, and beat him with an exquisite back-hand shot. Brent Seabrook probably could’ve caught him if he was 10 years younger and not weighed down by that anchor of a contract. Offensively and defensively, the Bolts were clicking on all cylinders. They were leading in shots 6-0.

The Lightning then weathered a bit of a storm as the Hawks found some time in the offensive zone, but unless the Hawks tried to bang in a shot from in tight, they weren’t getting to the middle of the ice for any chances.

1-1

In a curious case of irony, the Hawks then did to the Lightning what they had done earlier to open the scoring. Duncan Keith retrieved the puck in his own zone, found his partner in Jan Rutta who spotted rookie Alexandre Fortin alone in the neutral zone as the Lightning were conducting a change, and fired a pass to the 21-year-old who beat Domingue through the five-hole.

Cirelli got caught for holding, sending the Lightning to their first kill of the game. The Bolts did a great job of neutralizing Kane, not allowing him to carry the puck for any extended period of time. Positionally in the neutral zone, the Lightning were much improved.

A prime example if this is when Ryan McDonagh was covering the first forechecker position (F1). McDonagh noticed that he had three teammates behind him covering for his spot on defense and decided to step up on a pass from the Hawks defender, steal it, and get a good scoring chance. It killed off valuable seconds of the power play resulted in an offensive zone faceoff. As a result, the Lightning temporarily remained perfect on the kill for the year.

In somewhat of a theme for the period, Schmaltz was able to get behind Kucherov for a good chance off the wing. Kucherov was forced to take a hooking penalty just as Domingue stopped the tough shot.

On the kill, Kane was able to sneak behind the Lightning wall of defense and get a clean shot on Domingue. The 26-year-old backup executed an unbelievable barrel roll-type save, stopping Kane, and knocking the rebound away with his stick. You could tell he enjoyed that save because on the broadcast, they cut to his face post-save and it was a ear-to-ear grin. Wow!

And a close-up in slo-mo, just for good measure.

After One

The Hawks caught up on the shot clock and grabbed some momentum thanks to the two power plays they were awarded, but the 5-on-5 game still favoured the Bolts. They led in even-strength shot-attempts (17-16), shots (12-10), and scoring chances (12-5).

Domingue did a great job keeping his team in the game during that first period. He had to make several tough stops on the Hawks as they came busting up the wings with speed. At the other end, the Lightning did a great job making sure their chances counted.

Second Period

Early in the second, Ward decided to go as Domigue for Halloween. Ondrej Palat gave Tyler Johnson a great pass across the offensive blue line that allowed Johnson to carry his speed through the defenders and onto Ward. Like Domingue before him, Ward stacked the pads and stop Johnson on the breakaway.

Domigue’s was better imo.

Marcus Kruger took an interference penalty, and beyond one chance by Killorn, not much happened. The best part was the shift that followed.

2-1

The New Triplets jumped on the ice and used their speed and resilience to skate all the way from their own zone into the offensive zone. Cirelli got two good chances in front of the net early in the shift, but the trio stayed on the puck and Cirelli stuffed home his third chance from in tight. Can we clone Point and play him on the first and third line? Asking for a friend.

Ward, who was noticably angry following the Cirelli goal because he thought the play should’ve been blown, went and slashed J.T. Miller hard in front of the net on the next shift. The refs clearly saw it and called the veteran netminder for slashing.

3-1

Kruger took his second penalty of the period, and this time he paid for it. Within the last 30 seconds of the power play, the Lightning’s second unit stepped through the neutral zone and a quick tic-tac-toe passing play by Point, Johnson, and finished off by Gourde in front of the net gave the Lightning their first multi-goal lead in the game.

And let’s look at the sh-oh...oh dear.

4-1

And it didn’t end there. Point got his third point of the game after finally banging home a rebound up and over a sprawling Ward and Seabrook.

And now, some Tweets.

After Two (aka “Some Records”)

33 shots on goal in the second period alone is the new NHL record for shots on goal in a period. How sweet is it that the Lightning now own the NHL’s record for shots on goal in a period, doing it against the team that beat them in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015. Sweet sweet revenge.

The Bolts got one more shot after that the tweet below from Nick, meaning they just need six in the third to beat their franchise record.

The Bolts must have been laughing in the locker room between periods.

Third Period

Like most NHL teams with a big lead in the third, the Lightning picked out a play from Leicester City FC’s playbook and went with the old “defend....defend....defen--counter-attack!!!” style of offence. Gourde, Point, Cirelli, Hedman, and Point again each with a shot on goal in the early stages of the third, which could all be defined as scoring chances based on how clean the chances were.

5-1

Hedman creeped down to near the goal line and one-timed a pass from Anton Stralman off the inner bar of the net. Miller shot the “rebound” in just in case, but it was Hedman’s goal all the way. With that shot, the Lightning hit 50 for the game.

The Record

This years Tampa Bay Lightning hold the franchise record for most shots on goal in a game with 53 (and counting). What a good moment, and against the Hawks too.

5-2

David Kampf was the recipient of a lucky bounce off the linesman and he was able to walk in unimpeded and beat a frustrated Domingue, who broke his stick on the post following the goal. That moment of frustration would kick the Lightning in the butt a few minutes later...

5-3

Domingue thought he saved it. The initial call on the ice was no goal. But somehow, the Lightning’s lead has fallen to two, and the team’s penalty kill streak is dead. Schmaltz shot a one-timer from the faceoff dot, but the puck was stopped by the glove of Domingue. Unfortunately, his glove was inside the net and the puck was clearly past the goal line. The goal was Schmaltz’s second of the game.

6-3

As the Hawks tried to apply the pressure late, Ryan Callahan sealed the deal with an empty-net goal from just inside his own blue line. The goal was the team’s 54th shot on net in the game. They would get another on Cam Ward for their 55th of the game. A new record!