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Quick Strikes: The Lightning and Crunch score six goals each in exciting wins

A game against Philly got wild. Shocking, I know.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolts

The Lightning played one of the most “fun” games of the season yesterday. They jumped out to a 5-1 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers including two goals from Brayden Point who now has five in his last two games. They then proceeded to give all of those goals back in the third period.

In overtime, Anthony Cirelli scored the game winner for the Lightning using his strength to shed Wayne Simmonds and beat Calvin Pickard. Geo had the full recap and if you missed the game, that’s the best way to get caught up.

The Lightning get out of Philadelphia with two points in a game they probably should not have even been in. Erne had a great game with a power play goal and added two assists to set a new career high for points in game with three. Early in the game, Louis Domingue was very good for the Lightning stopping all 18 shots in the first period when the Flyers were getting to the front of the net and getting quality chances on goal. The fourth line also generated two goals at even strength, though one of those goals was a Point goal when he replaced Paquette for a shift after Paquette was shaken up blocked a shot.

Patrick Williams tweeted out a reminder that just over a year ago, Louis Domingue joined the Lightning organization following a tumultuous end to his time with the Coyotes. At that point, it looked like he might be on his way out of the NHL. But since the trade, he’s earned his way back to the big leagues and is now tasked with minding the net for one of the best teams in the NHL for the next month or so.

The Prospects

The Lightning set the tone with a wild game early in the day and the Crunch did their best to match it. After falling behind 3-1 to Rocket Laval in the second period, the Crunch came back to win 6-4.

In the game, Michael Bournival made his return to the lineup after missing eight months following a knee injury suffered in the spring. He gives the Crunch another veteran leader.

Among the goal scorers was Taylor Raddysh who put himself in some special company. Points in nine consecutive games is the best streak for the Crunch since Nikita Kucherov was in Syracuse.

Orlando couldn’t make it a trifecta of wins as they lost 5-1 to the Worcester Railers. On the upside, the one goal was scored by Matthew Spencer who is Orlando trying to improve his game and earn his way back to Syracuse. Since being a 2nd round pick in 2015, Spencer has struggled. Positive results in the ECHL is the first step on a long road to getting back into the picture as an NHL prospect.

The League

In the second intermission of the Lightning game against the Flyers, Gritty fought a kid and then deposited him in the penalty box. Yes, really.

Gritty is a phenomenon. The Flyers decided to create a mascot and it has gone as well as anyone could possibly imagine. Usually, these types of marketing gimmicks are met with tepid interest at best. But not Gritty. No. He’s been a sensation. Before the game, he picked a fight with someone in a Lightning jersey.

Around the rest of the league, the Pens lost another game. This time to...the Ottawa Senators? That’s right. The Penguins remain near the bottom of the NHL standings after a 6-4 loss. I refuse to believe they’re bad until they actually miss the playoffs but the evidence is starting to pile up that they aren’t a good team this year. Then again, last time this happened, they switched coaches mid-season and went on the win the Cup.

The Sabres won again. They might actually be...good? Or at least decent. They beat the Wild 3-2 coming back at the end of the game to steal the win.

Elias Pettersson scored another goal for the Canucks. I’m trying to avoid hyperbole with this kid but, wow, he seems good. Like, really good. Like, really really good. This one is a rocket that beats Carey Price.

The Canucks ultimately lost the game 3-2 thanks to some third period heroics from Jonathan Drouin. But that should be a welcome outcome for Vancouver fans. Much like the Leafs a few years ago, the best case scenario is that the young players look good but not quite good enough to keep them from having a chance at a high draft pick.

The San Diego Gulls honored Willie O’Ree on Friday night. He played seven seasons with the team and already had his number retired. They brought him back to celebrate his recent long overdue induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s taken too long but seeing O’Ree get his due from the game over the last few years has been a welcome sight. I hope it continues for as long as he’s able to keep enjoying these moments.