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Lightning Round: Bolts swim against the tide as several bottom-feeders win

Seattle Kraken win first game in franchise history

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 14: Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his overtime game winning goal next to Alex Nedeljkovic #39 and Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on October 14, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa Bay won the game 7-6 in overtime.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

During the third period in Detroit, when the Tampa Bay Lightning were down 6-3, the Canadiens, Leafs, and Golden Knights were all losing their games by multiple goals to the Sabres, Senators, and Kings. Those first four teams, including the Lightning, were playoff teams, and they all found themselves behind to four of the worst teams in the league last year.

Looking at the winning odds before the games started, the odds of all four of those teams losing was 2.6%, that would’ve been quite a unique evening. And while those three other teams all lost, the lucky Lightning did the thing and wrote the final pages in an even more unique game, coming all the way back for a 7-6 OT win.

Joining the Lightning in the win column were the Buffalo Sabres who upset the Montreal Canadiens, 5-1.

“It was nice to see some action from across the board tonight, as ten different Sabres players recorded at least a point. Girgensons, Eakin & Okposo, despite being on the ‘fourth’ line, recorded four points. Your top line of Skinner-Mittelstadt-Hinostroza had three points, including a pair of assists from #53. Bjork contributed a goal from the second line, while the third line combined for three points.” [Die by the Blade]

The Senators, you read that right, the Senators took down the Leafs, 3-2. Queue up panic mode in the Big Smoke.

“Aside from that burst of chaos and goals midway through the third period, it’s a mostly a disappointing game from the Maple Leafs. A couple bright spots in Michael Bunting’s play, and Nylander keeping up his 82 goal pace. Mrázek wasn’t awful, and Campbell came in and played great in relief.” [Pension Plan Puppets]

I fell asleep before this game ended so hopefully the Golden Knights don’t pull a Lightning before I wake up! [Ed. note - they did not]

And finally, the Seattle Kraken won their first game in franchise history thanks to an empty-net game-winning goal from Brandon Tanev on the team’s only shot in the third period. That’s how you do it!

“It’s just a big win for the franchise,” said Wennberg. “It’s so new, I mean to get that first win, it’s a really big accomplishment. It’s really good for us as a team and the organization, that’s the first one, hopefully there’s many more to come.” [Seattle Times]

Off the ice there were a couple of deals signed. In Ottawa Brady Tkachuk got paid. The young agitator signed a 7-year, $57.5 million contract. The Senators stuck to their guns and there is no signing bonus money in the contract, it’s all salary. [Silver Seven]

The actual structure is middle-loaded. It starts with $4m this season and $6.5m next season, then going up to $10.5m for years three through five before dropping back down to $8.5m and $7m for the final two years. Frank Seravalli is reporting that it is all regular salary, there are no singing bonuses included.

On the subject of no move or no trade clauses, Elliotte Friedman is reporting that there is a no move clause that kicks in for the final three years, though the Senators press release does not include any details on that.

The Washington Capitals claimed Dennis Cholowski off of waivers from Seattle Kraken. The defensemen was selected in the expansion draft from Detroit and was the odd man out when Jamie Oleksiak cleared COVID protocol. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Cholowski is a 23-year-old, left-shooting rearguard that was a first-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings in 2016. The puck-moving defenseman has 27 points (10g, 17a) in 104 career games. Cholowski spent parts of three years in Detroit, where he saw his games played decrease every season (52, 36, 16).

Gabriel Landeskog did a bad thing in the Colorado Avalanche’s season opener against the Chicago hockey team. [Look at Tyler Johnson throwing himself into the middle of the brawl] Seriously, hockey players, don’t drive your opponent into the boards if they’re on their knees. The NHL Wheel of Punishment landed on the two-game suspension portion of the dial for the superstar. Hopefully he takes time to reflect on his actions while he is out of the line-up. [Mile High Hockey]

With the two-game suspension, Landeskog will miss out on Saturday’s home game against the St. Louis Blues, and the first road game of the season in Washington D.C. against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The first game Landeskog will be eligible for a return is next Thursday in Sunrise, FL against the Florida Panthers.