Victor Hedman finished with a goal and an assist in a Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. Alex Killorn scored the first of two goals in the second period and that was all the Bolts needed to put away the Sens. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25 of 26 shots for the win. Ross Colton also had a great night, setting up Killorn with a great play. Taylor Raddysh also got an assist on Hedman’s game-winning goal for his ninth point after a slow start to the season.
In the win, captain Steven Stamkos earned his 900th career point and got a standing ovation from the home crowd for the achievement. He’s on 53 points behind Martin St. Louis for the franchise record in points, which he can probably get within the next year or so. And at only 31 years old, there’s a good chance he’ll be the first player in franchise history to hit 1000 points with the team.
A salute to the Captain from tonight's home crowd. pic.twitter.com/lrkdYwIXaF— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 17, 2021
In terms of how Stamkos got his points, the renowned sniper has scored 452 goals and 448 assists in his career. Almost a perfect split. And considering you get two assists for every goal scored, this shows just how good of a goal scorer Stamkos is.
Steven Stamkos on reaching the 900-pt. milestone and the standing ovation from the crowd. "A hundred more and that’d be a really nice one, but you have to get to this to get to there. Nice to do it at home in front of fans. That was definitely appreciated by me." #GoBolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) December 17, 2021
Steven Stamkos said the team’s play hasn’t always been pretty without Kucherov and Point but in the locker room they call themselves the “Tampa Bay Find-A-Ways”— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) December 17, 2021
“We just find a way to get wins and find a way to get points.” #GoBolts #OTTvsTBL
In terms of the game, it was a smooth-sailing effort for the Lightning, who were ahead in shots pretty much the whole game, before closing out the night with a strong possession third period. The Senators did score first, a first period goal from Thomas Chabot off a turnover from Ryan McDonagh, but the Lightning got that goal back and took the lead in the second and didn’t look too bothered at all.
It was a relatively quiet first period after that moment. The biggest chance for the Lightning might’ve been Cirelli’s shot attempt from the slot after a centering pass, but he couldn’t quite get the puck to settle and Batherson was there to steal the puck anyway.
Killorn! Ross Colton made an incredible play on this Killorn goal early in the second period, taking the puck from Hedman at the offensive blue line, shooting past Tkachuk who was too high, and then dancing around Chabot before feeding Killorn for a tap-in. Hedman, who started the play, drove the net and took two guys with him away from the net as he was pushed down. Hedman has been such an important offensive player for the Lightning.
Speak of the devil, 10 minutes later Hedman got a goal for himself to give the Lightning the lead! On the power play, Raddysh and Stamkos were battling in the corner to win the puck back. Raddysh did end up getting the puck back to Hedman at the point, where the big defenseman looked up and....saw nothing in front of him. So he cautiously skated in the open space, wound up for a shot, realized he could get closer, wound up again, and finally cracked a shot along the surface of the ice through the five-hole of Forsberg in net.
Colton nearly scored on the empty net with about 15 seconds to go, but he missed just wide. Alas, Lightning win!