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Lightning Round: The Bolts finish January as one of the NHL leaders

Nikita Kucherov leads his team with 13 points this month.

Vancouver Canucks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning played in their last game of January. Unfortunately they didn’t earn the victory, but managed to save the point, losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in a shootout. Overall their performance in this month was solid: the Bolts finished the month with a 8-3-1 record, which allowed them to stay in the leading group. Currently they’re the second in the Atlantic Division, trailing only to the Florida Panthers by three points.

https://www.nhl.com/lightning/standings/2021/division

With still almost half of the regular season to go, the Lightning should feel pretty comfortable about their chance to make the playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings, which is the first amongst teams currently not making postseason, are twenty points behind. Hopefully the Lightning will also have a chance to roll their full lineup as they struggled to have all their players healthy this season.

Nikita Kucherov has been the hottest Lightning player of January. Despite playing in a fewer number of games than his teammates, Kucherov leads his team in points this month. In eight games he scored 13 points (4+9). Brayden Point leads all players with six goals in January.

Andrei Vasilevskiy remains among the best goaltenders in the NHL. In January he played in all games but one, recording a strong 7-3-1 record with .908 SV% and 2.44 GAA. Overall he’s top ten in the NHL with 14.9 GSAx in all situations.

The next month should be much less intense for the Lightning. They’re scheduled to play in just six games, in comparison to 12 games they played in January. Most of those games are rescheduled from December due to massive COVID-19 outbreak in the NHL.

Lightning Links

As it was already mentioned above, the Lightning lost to the Golden Knights 3-2 in a shootout on a Saturday night [Raw Charge]

Andrei Vasilevskiy had a busy first period, stopping 11 shots, but a light third as he only faced one shot. Overall he was 25 of 27 including a dazzling one in overtime. At the opposite end of the ice, Robin Lehner had an easy go of it early in the game as the Tampa Bay Lightning only mustered nine shots on goal through the first two periods. He was much, much busier in the third as the Bolts used three power plays to generate a total of 17 shots on net with two of them leaking through.

The Syracuse Crunch suffered a big loss against the Charlotte Checkers. Sean Day scored the only goal for Syracuse.

Hockey News

A total of 10 games were played in the NHL last night.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman David Savard will miss eight weeks due to a right ankle injury.

The Buffalo Sabres placed goaltender Aaron Dell on waivers

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Anaheim Ducks are interested in Pat Verbeek as their potential new general manager.