The Tampa Bay Lightning ended their California road trip with a 7-1 blowout of the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. Six different Bolts scored in the game, with Ross Colton scoring the first and last goal of the game. Steven Stamkos scored his 20th goal of the season and took home his 30th assist for 50 points on the season. Mathieu Joseph, Corey Perry, Brayden Point, and Alex Killorn all scored for the Bolts as well. Killorn also finished the night with a goal and an assist, with Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev, and Ryan McDonagh all taking home two assists each.
Brian Elliott deserves his own paragraph as he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a great effort from the 36-year-old in his first game in over three weeks. He hasn’t always had the best results this season, but he worked really hard in this game and battled for a good result in an otherwise blown out game.
Ross Colton opened the scoring for the Lightning after a much better start for the team than last night in Anaheim. Colton was coming down the wing on a rush and tried to center the puck to his linemate Raddysh, but the puck went off Vlasic and past an off-balance Reimer.
Stammer! The Captain scored his 20th goal of the season off a nice little passing play from Foote and Killorn at the top of the offensive zone. It wasn’t a classic big slapper from Stamkos, but instead a wrister right to the top corner around both Sharks defenders. Reimer has no chance of seeing the shot.
Joseph made it a third on the night all within 11 minutes. Sergachev got the play started from behind his own net, launching a stretch pass to Stamkos who was already at the offensive blue line. Stammer drove to the net hard and his shot left a rebound right in the blue paint. Joseph was the transition guy on the play before getting overlooked by Sergy, and followed Stamkos to the net. He banged away at the puck and it somehow got under Reimer and the two crowded bodies in front of the net.
Cirelli and Burns got a little touchy later in the period when Cirelli stopped in front of Reimer and Burns wanted to take exception to it, knowing his team was down three goals and probably lacked some motivation.
That motivation from Burns never materialized as things only got worse for the Sharks and better for the Bolts. This time it was Corey Perry (who I assume Sharks fans hate) getting fed a wide-open tap in from Bellemare rebound. The Sharks were completely unaware of where the puck was and were caught puck-watching, too.
Jaycob Megna made it a little less embarrassing with a goal to make it 4-1 for the Bolts. Elliott (or the defense, I couldn’t tell) blocked the initial rush chance from the Sharks, but it caused a swarm of bodies in front of the net that didn’t dissolve as Megna took a long point shot that somehow found its way through.
It was an excellent period for the Lightning, who led the Sharks in shots 29-16, 15-5 in shots on goal, and 16-8 in scoring chances. There were no penalties in the period so all those stats are 5v5. James Reimer got pulled after the fourth goal by Perry for Adin Hill. Just by looking at the shots, it’s pretty clear Reimer getting pulled wasn’t because of something he did, instead the utter lack of competitiveness from the Sharks, especially on the defensive side of the puck.
The Sharks put out more of a fight to start the second, but it was the Cirelli, Point, Kucherov line that looked the most dangerous on the ice. They were completely buzzing below the hash marks.
Yeah that was inevitable. Cirelli, Kucherov, and Point converted on a 3-on-1 with Point getting the goal with a perfectly placed shot. Cirelli did the hard work getting the puck past Merkley, Kucherov faked the defense and got the puck to Point, and it was the center who finished it off. This is now Points 16th goal of the season in only 29 games, if this was his 42nd game like the rest of the team, he would have 23 goals and sit fifth in NHL goal scoring.
San Jose then got the first power play of the game, with Joseph going to the box for holding. The Bolts kept the Sharks from doing anything of substance, with Cirelli getting a half chance the other way.
5-2 No Goal
Timo Meier thought he scored a second goal for the Sharks after a scrum in front of the net. However, he kicked Elliott’s pad into the net, then kicked several more times to kick the puck into the net. Elliott was pissed at the “goal” call initially, but he was eventually proven right by the review.
It was a better period for the Sharks, but it was the Lightning who got the only goal of the period. Due to the score, the Lightning chose to not take as many risks, which limited their total attacking volume, but didn’t deter them from having chances. That said, the reduction in offense, aka score effets, caused the Lightning to go down 10-19 in shot attempts. Cal Foote got a point shot to the... appendage that shares his name... but was able to come back to the game, though he would be skating a little more gingerly. Hopefully that ankle isn’t damaged in any serious way.
The Lightning got their first power play of the game when Barabanov hooked Perry in a battle along the boards. It was a light, clean game for the most part. This was only the second penalty to be called in the game up to this point and I didn’t notice any glaring missed calls.
On said power play, the Lightning were able to keep the Sharks stuck in their zone for most of the two minutes, but not too long as Killorn tipped a point shot from Hedman. Point got the second assist on the goal.
Ross Colton converted the extra point off a shot from Sergachev that was tipped on its way to the net by Raddysh. The puck was going wide as it reached Hill in net, but Colton got his stick across and feathered it in for his second of the night.