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Point’s three goals caps off a five-point night from Kucherov, Lightning win

Nov 4, 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) celebrates his goal scored in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

For two periods the Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the game against the Ottawa Senators and took a 4-1 lead into the third period. Then a little bit of chaos descended into the arena, but when the smoke cleared, the Bolts skated off the ice with a 6-4 victory. Brayden Point had a hat trick and Nikita Kucherov tallied 5 points on the night as the Lightning won their first road game of the 2023-24 season.

The night started with an eyebrow raised as Coach Cooper split up his top line, dropping Point onto a line with Mikey Eyssimont and Brandon Hagel while Anthony Cirelli centered Alex Barre-Boulet and Kucherov. The coach also gave Waltteri Merela and Nick Perbix the night off, inserting Austin Watson and Zach Bogosian.

Watson was so excited to be back in the line-up that he took himself off the ice for five minutes after he dropped the gloves with Zach MacEwen in his first shift since October 17th. It set the tone for a high-energy period from Tampa Bay. After a disappointing third period against Columbus where their coach felt like they didn’t really compete, the Lightning made sure that wasn’t going to be an issue in the first period.

They outworked the Senators throughout the first period despite the fact that it was Ottawa that scored first as Brady Tkachuk, of course it was Tkachuk, that tipped home a shot from Mathieu Joseph. Give Joseph credit for hustling as he had been dumped into the Lightning bench by Erik Cernak prior to getting back into position to shoot the puck on net.

By this point the separation of Point and Kucherov had ended and they were back on a line with Brandon Hagel. They made up for lost time and kicked off a scoring spree rarely seen by a Lightning duo. Honestly, the first goal probably wasn’t a great play by Kucherov as he tried to thread a pass back to Point who was cutting in through the slot, but well covered. Had the puck not hit a skate, chances are the pass would have been picked off by Ottawa and a break the other way would have been on because Victor Hedman had cut down low in front of the net. However, the puck deflected right to Hedman and he was able to swat it in on the backhand. Better lucky than good, eh?

Still, it was earned luck as the Bolts really suffocated the Ottawa offense allowing just six scoring chances for the home team. On the other end of the ice, the Bolts piled up 14 scoring chances and put 15 shots on Joonas Korpisalo. That trend would continue through the second period as Ottawa could only muster 5 more scoring chances. Through two periods, Ottawa was held to just 4 high-danger chances and 16 shots on goal.

Meanwhile the Lightning kept generating chances, especially the Kucherov and Point duo. Point scored his first of the night just 32 seconds into the period as he streaked through the neutral zone and into the Ottawa zone and timed it just right to roof his shot under the bar as Korpisalo dropped into the butterfly.

Taking the lead was nice, but the Bolts had been their before and not been able to hold onto it, so a third goal would be nice to build a little cushion. They got it a few minutes later from an unlikely source – Mikey Eyssimont.

Anthony Cirelli blocked a shot and sent Eyssimont through the neutral zone. The young forward tried to dish it over to Barre-Boulet, but the pass was blocked and came right back to him. So he casually batted it past Korpisalo as he was falling to the ice for his third goal of the season.

As we all have been told, a two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in the sport. So, why not make it 4-1? They tried, but it seemed that the gods were conspiring against them. Tanner Jeannot had a deflection kept out as the puck rolled up Anton Forsberg’s (he replaced Korisalo after Eyssimont’s goal) blocker and out. Nick Paul had an empty net with Forsberg down-and-out, but his shot was blocked by Travis Hamonic. Barre-Boulet sent one through the crease. Kucherov gunned one wide on the power play. It felt like their inability to add that second insurance goal would come back to haunt them, but they finally got it from Brayden Point.

Off of a face-off win a shot came in on Forsberg and he didn’t know where it was as he glanced behind him. The puck was underneath him, but apparently the ref saw it long enough for Point to dig it out and jam it home with under two minutes to go in the period.

It would prove to be a big goal as the Senators came out humming in the third period. Just over a minute into the final period, Claude Giroux unleashed a big shot from the top of the slot that beat Jonas Johannson, who looked like he was a little off balance as he lurched to stop the shot on his blocker side.

“Oh boy, here they go again” was likely a shared thought by a lot of Lightning fans. Especially after the Bolts were shorthanded shortly after due to a cross-checking penalty by Tanner Jeannot on Tim Stutzle. But they managed to kill it off and eventually went on a power play of their own. Point finished off his second career hat trick as he camped out by the side of the net with his stick on the ice and just let Steven Stamkos wing a shot off of the shaft of the stick and in. Minor crises averted and it’s 5-2 with just over 10 minutes to go. No worries, right? Right?

Things went off the rails after that goal. Remember that crosschecking penalty earlier in the period? Well, after Jeannot had served his time in the box, he was jawing with Stutzle about it. Brady Tkachuk, because he is a Tkuchuk, inserted himself in the bench conversation and had some choice words for his Lightning opponent.

Following the Point goal, Tkachuk and Jeannot were lined up across from each other on the face-off and Jeannot encouraged the Senators’ captain to exchange his words for physical conflict. Tkachuk deferred and in the middle of the conversation slipped out to check Darren Raddysh into the boards, which earned a crosscheck in the back from Jeannot and another verbal invitation to an altercation.

Tkachuk refused and the refs decided they had enough of Jeannot’s baiting and sent him to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Of course wouldn’t you know that Tkachuk would score on the power play and have a nice smirk ready for Jeannot as he skated by the penalty box. Honestly, I can’t even hate him for it. It would be like hating a raccoon for eating your garbage. It’s just their nature.

While Brady was sitting on the bench feeling pretty good, and the crowd was fired up, the Lightning went down and scored to reestablish the three-goal margin. Hedman made a nice play to keep the puck in at the blueline and his backhand pass to Barre-Boulet caught four Senators looking in the wrong direction. BB sent it down low to Forsberg’s right where Kucherov was stationed and ready to deflect it home.

Was the scoring done there? Of course not. Forty seconds later, Drake Batherson slipped passed his marker and beat Johansson to the glove side to make it 6-4 with just under eight minutes to go. Just long enough for a little doubt to creep back into our hearts.

However, the Bolts stood tall and kept the puck out of their net. They also stayed out of the box (after killing off the penalty caused when Coach Cooper lost a challenge on the Batherson goal). Eventually the horn sounded and amidst a chorus of boos from the citizens of Ottawa, they had their first road win of the season, and their first win against a divisional opponent.



Brady Tkachuk (Mathieu Joseph, Jake Sanderson) 1-0 Senators

Victor Hedman (Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point) 1-1

Brayden Point (Nikita Kucherov) 2-1 Lightning

Mikey Eyssimont (Anthony Cirelli) 3-1 Lightning

Brayden Point (Nikita Kucherov) 4-1 Lightning

Claude Grioux (Tim Stutzle, Jacob Bernard-Docker) 4-2 Lightning

Brayden Point (Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov) Power Play, 5-2 Lightning

Brady Tkachuk (Josh Norris, Drake Batherson) Power Play, 5-3 Lightning

Nikita Kucherov (Alex Barre-Boulet, Victor Hedman) 6-3 Lightning

Drake Batherson (Brady Tkachuk) 6-4 Lightning

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