Game 60: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Phoenix Coyotes
The Tampa Bay Lightning earned two more points tonight, beating the Phoenix Coyotes 8-3.
Wins are obviously welcome, but coming following last week's losses to Philadelphia, Detroit, and Florida, tonight's win was crucial.
The Bolts had a clear advantage, playing for the first time since Saturday, versus Phoenix, who arrived in Tampa after playing in Philly last night. The Coyotes, facing injuries and in the middle of a road trip, were tired and spent, a byproduct of having won the last eight games.
The Lightning's fresh legs were aided by Monday's trip to Naples, which included golfing and yoga, a welcome break from the epic 12-game home stand.
"Obviously we appreciate as players everything they're doing for us," said Vincent Lecavalier afterwards. "I'm just kind of in awe about how the whole organization is right now, so we want to do well for them."
Returning to the ice tonight, saying that the Lightning did well is an understatement. The Bolts played a complete game against Phoenix, and were rewarded.
Read more after the jump.
"We haven't gotten results the last three games," said Martin St. Louis. "The bottom line in this league, especially at this time of the year, it's all about results."
Teddy Purcell got the wheels turning early, opening the scoring at 1:59, with an unassisted goal against Jason LaBarbera from the right circle.
Purcell's goal was followed by two more from St. Louis, followed by two more power play goals from Steven Stamkos and Lecavalier to finish the first period with a 5-0 lead, the highest number of goals the Lightning have scored in a period all season long.
In the second period, the Bolts didn't let down. Purcell continued the scoring, taking a shot on a pass from Vinny, raising the score 6-0 two minutes into the period. Again, at eight minutes, Purcell capitalized on another pass from Vinny, chipping it in for 7-0, and notching his first career hat trick.
Purcell didn't take all the credit for the three. "Vinny made some good passes to me all night, and made my life pretty easy, standing in front, putting them in."
The Coyotes scored at the end of the second, and earned two more goals in the third period, but with Adam Hall's additional goal, the Lightning finished not just with the win, but with a renewed sense of confidence.
"Tonight we went after the results and we got what we wanted," said St. Louis.
Boucher attributed the win the the consistent effort and hard work, saying that he didn't expect a final score of 8-3.
"If you let the skills come out of the grinding, then you're going somewhere," Boucher said afterwards.
Or perhaps it's just the yoga.
Up Next: The Lightning will play the New Jersey Devils on Friday, February 25 at 7:30 PM. If you aren't in attendance, be sure to jump on the game thread.
Coyotes vs Lightning coverage [SB Nation]
Coyotes vs Lightning recap [TSN]
Coyotes vs Lightning boxscore [TSN]
Five For Howling [SB Nation]