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Lightning Round: Atlantic Division update

Also, Alex Volkov scored his first career hat trick for the Syracuse Crunch.

NHL: JAN 14 Kings at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t play on Saturday. The bye week has already started for the team and most of the players are heading off to vacation. Meanwhile, six teams from the Atlantic Division saw action last night.

Flames 2, Senators 5

The Flames dominated the Senators in all situations, but Swedish goaltender Marcus Hogberg played probably one of the best games in the NHL this season and made 40 saves, helping the Senators to win their first game in 2020. Former Lightning player Vladislav Namestnikov scored an empty-netter after a Mark Giordano mistake and added an assist in this game.

Blackhawks 6, Leafs 2

As was announced last Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost defenceman Morgan Rielly due to a fractured foot and he will miss at least eight weeks. Not good news for a Leafs team that is already missing another key defender in Jake Muzzin. Because of their struggles on a blue line, the Maple Leafs have lost five of their last six games, including a big loss last night against the Chicago Blackhawks. After series of failures, Toronto is currently sitting out of a playoff spot.

Golden Knights 4, Canadiens 5 (SO)

Since acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk, the Montreal Canadiens have gone 4-4-0, including four wins in their last five game. The Russian forward already has 8 (4+4) points in those games and scored against the Vegas Golden Knights last night too. The Golden Knights trailed 2-4 with two minutes left in the third period, but managed to tie the game just before the buzzer. Eventually, the Canadiens earned a win in shootout where Carey Price stopped three shots. The Habs are still far behind the playoff zone.

Panthers 4, Red Wings 1

Sergey Bobrovsky returned after missing nine days and helped the Panthers to earn a win against the Red Wings. The Red Wings are dead last in the league and are on pace to break several anti-records. Meanwhile, the Panthers have won four consecutive games and returned to third place in Atlantic division, five points behind the Lightning and with one game in hand. If the regular season would have ended today, these two teams would face each other in the first round of playoffs.

Sabres 1, Predators 2

The Sabres couldn’t extend their winning series to four games, falling to the Nashville Predators. Craig Smith scored the game winning goal for the Preds in the third period and Pekka Rinne stopped the Sabres offense, making 30 saves. The Sabres are currently tied in points with the Montreal Canadien. The chances of making the playoffs for both teams are very low.

Lightning Org News

Alex Volkov scored a hat trick after his return to Syracuse, helping the Crunch to earn a victory against the Binghamton Devils last night.

The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned Mitchell Stephens and Luke Schenn to the Syracuse Crunch, but both players are not expected to play in the AHL and will be recalled when the All-Star break ends.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Solar Bears lost another game to the Jacksonville Icemen.