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Flames take the shots, Lightning score the goals as Bolts get 10th win of the season

Kucherov scored twice as the first line excelled.

Calgary Flames v Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during a game against the Calgary Flames at Amalie Arena on November 17, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 while sporting their excellent Reverse Retro jerseys. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 39 of 40 shots in the win. Nikita Kucherov scored twice, while Steven Stamkos and Philippe Myers each potted goals as well. Myers scored his first goal as a Bolt.

After a start to the season where he deserved more goals than he got, Kucherov has been on fire, now with a team-leading nine goals and leading 16 assists for 25 points in just 17 games.

The first line for the Bolts led the way as Point, Kucherov, and Hagel combined for 13 shots and accumulating over three expected goals worth of chances. They were basically the totality of offense for the Lightning. On one side, it was enough to carry them through the game and get the goals needed to win. On the other side, the bottom six forwards and bottom three defenders got shelled slowly drowned both in shots and quality of chances. The only shot on goal the Stamkos line got was his goal. The fourth line couldn’t muster a single shot. The third line was okay for their role.

And while I was disappointed in most of the Lightning’s game, I was somehow more disappointed in the Flames system for offense. Sutter’s decade out-of-date style of point shots exclusively results in high shot share, but terrible efficiency with the ever-valuable time in the offensive zone. The Flames exclusive shooting from the point only mustered them five high danger chances from 70 (!) shot attempts. Unlike the Panthers or an offense like the Devils who play fast and dynamic, it played right into the hands of a diligent in-zone defense team like the Lightning.

First Period

A strong first period for the Lightning despite appearing to be out-shot. They kept the Flames completely to the outside and only allowed one high danger chance, everything else from the point. Vasilevskiy was finding his way through screens and stopping pucks.

0-1 called back

The Flames thought they scored first but the goal was called back for offside.

1-0

Trevor Lewis was careless with the puck as he cut off a pass to Sergachev, allowing Sergachev to tee up Stamkos for the game’s opening goal. This goal was Stammer’s ninth of the season and Sergachev’s 12th assist.

After One

This period was the worst period for the Flames in terms of their offense, and thus the Lightning’s best full effort. The Bolts didn’t give up anything in front of the net and left the period with a goal from 1.5 expected goals. Again, the first line was excellent, swarming the front of the net. Hagel is really coming into his own.

It was a little chippy near the end of the period, with some pushing and shoving. Namestnikov got a cross-check into the net for looking for a rebound. I get they didn’t like him doing that, but their response escalated things.

Second Period

Hagel got called for hooking in the offensive zone, but the Lightning did a great job killing it off not allowing a single shot.

2-0

After Stamkos drew a penalty the Lightning got their first power play of the night going. Aaaaand Kuch scores! Stamkos and Kucherov were just slinging royal road passes to each other for one-timers for almost the entirety of the power play. It was really fun and the Flames just could not figure out they needed a guy or two in the slot. Eventually they connected for Kucherov’s eighth goal of the year. I know I already said it but this goal was fun!

After Two

The Flames were creeping closer to the net as the game went on and were burying the Bolts second and fourth lines. They got hemmed in their own zone a lot and had to fight hard for every rebound, but despite bending, they never completely broke down.

Third Period

2-1

The Flames got on the board (again) with Lindholm scoring on the power play from the point. The Lightning overloaded the left side to try and win the puck, and while they were resetting back into a normal position, there was enough of a screen on Lindholm’s shot that it got through. Kadri was in front for the best screen on Vasilevskiy.

3-1

Barely 10 seconds later, Philippe Myers threw a weak point shot at Markstrom which he flubbed. A deflating goal for the Flames to say the least and a huge boost for the Lightning to get that insurance goal. Ross Colton, who dumped the puck in, got the lone assist. This goal was Myers’ eighth career goal.

4-1

Even with the Lightning ahead by two with less than 30 seconds left in the game, the Flames pulled their goalie. Hagel won the puck and threw it up to Kucherov for a wide open tap-in. I don’t blame Kucherov at all for blowing the zone with so little time left. Pad those stats, you’ve earned it.