For most of the night it appeared the Tampa Bay Lightning were going to get goalied by Juuse Saros. The Nashville Predators netminder was absolutely sensational as he stymied chance after chance for the Bolts. However, an Alex Killorn redirect in the third period and a Steven Stamkos overtime, power play goal put the Lightning in the win column as they took one of their few road games this month by a score of 3-2.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had another strong night in net for Tampa Bay as he stopped 30 of 32 shots as he continued his domination of Nashville, picking up his 8th straight win against them. Nikita Kucherov scored on the power play en route to a three-point night, his second straight multi-point effort. Stamkos tallied his 491th career goal and 74th game-winning goal with his overtime marker.
Filip Forsberg and Nino Niederreiter had the goals for Nashville while Saros ended the game with 36 saves.
The Lightning did have some new faces in the line-up as Zach Bogosian returned from his shoulder injury and played 15:58. He didn’t show any hesitation in throwing hits and led the Lightning with 7. Rudolfs Balcers made his Lightning debut and played 8:24. It was a solid debut as he had 1:27 of shorthanded time. Nick Perbix and Cole Koepke missed the game with injuries.
First Period Thoughts:
- The 5v5 portion of the period was just fine. In fact, it was better than fine as the Lightning racked up 17 scoring chances and 24 shot attempts.
- Despite allowing a power play goal, the penalty kill was also fairly good for the Lightning as they allowed just 2 high-danger chances during the three times they were shorthanded.
- Taking penalties against a team that has a 15% success rate with the extra skater isn’t the end of the world, but you would rather them be aggressive forechecking penalties. Instead they were whistled for tripping (twice) and kneeing.
- Juuse Saros was really good. Like, really good. He stoned Brayden Point a couple of times on quality opportunities.
- Speaking of Point, his line was buzzing. Natural Stat Trick had them with a 7-1 shot advantage, 7-0 scoring chance advantage, and 3 High-Danger chances. Kucherov had five shot attempts on his own.
- Vasilevskiy was solid. He really didn’t have a chance on the goal as he was screened and Forsberg put it in the perfect spot.
Filip Forsberg (Mattias Ekholm, Juuso Parssinen) Power Play, 1-0 Predators
Filip Forsberg scores first goal in 2nd straight game to get #Smashville going early pic.twitter.com/BcEEBAgC9v— Mr. First Period (@whoscoredfirst) November 20, 2022
Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul couldn’t convert a shorthanded two-on-one, the Lightning were unable to clear the puck (Fleury’s attempt hit a body) after Nashville re-entered the zone, and Filip Forsberg ripped a one-timer into the upper-90 to beat a screened Vasilevskiy.
- This period wasn’t quite has high-event as the first period, but did have a lot of heavy hits.
- Lightning had two power plays, one of which they converted. They would have had a third if Pat Maroon hadn’t picked up a retaliation penalty after Dante Fabbro hit Kucherov in the back of the calf and tripped him up.
- They did give up a partial odd-man rush on the second power play, but it was defended quite well. In addition to that, they really didn’t generate too much on the second opportunity.
- It was a lot closer at 5v5 (all 13:19 of it) but the Lightning still had the edge in scoring chances (5-4) and high-danger chances (3-2).
- Juuse Saros continued to be the best player on the ice, this time it was it Corey Perry he absolutely stoned. The Nashville goalie also flashed out the glove to deflect a Stamkos one-timer on a scrambling play in front of his net.
Nikita Kucherov (Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev) Power Play, 1-1
Nikita Kucherov is good at hockey. pic.twitter.com/JrGiNhstaG— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 20, 2022
Sometimes you earn your assists by making highlight-reel passes. Other times you get them by handing the puck to Nikita Kucherov and letting him do Nikita Kucherov things.
- The period started with about five minutes of continuous play. When that happens there usually ends up being some defensive breakdowns and both teams had their chances during the run of play.
- Up until the Lightning power play they were kind of struggling to get any kind of sustained action in the period. They definitely turned the switch on with the power play and were swarming up until the Bogosian “penalty”.
- Even when shorthanded they were pushing the play. It was just a matter of time until they found the back of the net, and it was Killorn who deflected it home.
- Good to see Brandon Hagel come back after taking a heavy hit into the boards from the rookie Juuso Parssinen.
- Another period with only about 13 minutes of 5v5, but the Lightning once again led in scoring chances (9-7) while they split high-danger chances at 5 a piece.
Nino Niederreiter (unassisted) 2-1 Predators
Nino rockets the puck through the pads! @PredsNHL gain 2-1 advantage! #HockeyFightsCancer l #Smashville l @PredsNHL pic.twitter.com/deVNx4hhNe— Bally Sports: Preds (@PredsOnBally) November 20, 2022
Just a little miscommunication on this play. Ian Cole saw Nick Paul with the puck along the boards and moved up the ice to give him an outlet. Unfortunately, Paul lost control of the puck to Niederreiter who then had plenty of space to walk out and beat Vasilevskiy.
Alex Killorn (Ian Cole, Nikita Kucherov) 2-2
THAT'S OUR INFLUENCER pic.twitter.com/gTQaY5EZP1— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 20, 2022
Just some really good work by the forwards to keep control of the puck. The subtle little move that Kucherov move to open space for the pass back to Cole was sublime. Killorn then made a nice moving tip on the shot from the point.
- Victor Hedman with an accelerated slapper that hit Saros right in the mask got things started.
- Point, at the end of his shift, absolutely gave it his all to disrupt a two-on-one.
- Stamkos earned the penalty in overtime, won the face-off, and buried the one-timer from the top of the slot. The four forward unit didn’t give Nashville a chance to challenge them as they kept the puck in the zone for the entire OT power play.
Steven Stamkos (Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point) Power Play, 3-2 Lightning
Tonight's Lightning Radio Call of the Game is an easy pick #TBLvsNSH— Lightning Radio (@BoltsRadio) November 20, 2022
A goal in 3 straight, career goal number 491, and most importantly, the overtime winner from Steven Stamkos. As called by @DaveMishkin pic.twitter.com/KVnaKF1C83
Winning the face-off was absolutely key on the four-on-three. Then Point was able to get to the loose puck. Stamkos and Kucherov worked the puck back and forth to open up that lane for The Captain to fire the puck home. Corey Perry was down low occupying the front of the net as well. Very well executed goal by the entire line.