Recap: Gaspar’s pirates steal gold and goals from Kings, Lightning win 5-2
Nick Perbix got three assists in the win
The Tampa Bay Lightning rode a comfortable lead all the way to the buzzer, beating the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on Gasparilla Saturday Night Hockey. Nick Perbix had his first career three-point game, notching three assists in the win. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Brayden Point, Corey Perry, Ross Colton, and Victor Hedman all scored for the Bolts.
Point and Nikita Kucherov had a fun night toying with Jonathan Quick, but only got a goal out of it. Point had two points, Kucherov finished with just one assist.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26 of 28 for the win, with his two goals against being unlucky flukes more than else. He had a great night on merit, and it’s good that the Bolts could have a comfortable win in spite of the luck.
I have to admit, this game was definitely on the more boring side of the spectrum of Lightning games to watch from TV. I’m sure it was fun, as always, in person. I loved the Gasparilla festivities. I hope to head down and enjoy that time of the year in Tampa one day. Pirate stuff is always fun.
Aaarg ya ready?? 🏴☠️ pic.twitter.com/f1uiLgaSTh— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 28, 2023
A pirate's life for us. ☠️ pic.twitter.com/7Ti25cVVcw— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) January 29, 2023
But for the game itself, the Bolts got the lead from some mishaps, they didn’t overly dominate the game apart from a few moments, and the Kings didn’t put up enough of a fight to get any kind of suspense. From a sporting side, excellent win. Quiet, low stress, and a by the book performance. No complaints there, especially since the margin to Toronto is down to three points with the Bolts holding two games in hand.
The Bolts also are second only to Boston in wins on the season. The Bruins have 38, the Lightning have 32, tied with New Jersey. They also moved up into fifth in the league standings.
After a shift in their own end, Point and Kucherov get the puck up the ice. A mistake by the Kings allowed Kucherov to jump on the puck behind the net, opening up Point for a shot in tight that snuck through Quick.
Bellemare does it again on the next shift after a dump in by Perbix gets botched by the Kings defenders, the puck rotated right to Bellemare who made no mistake.
Two goals on three shots, thank you very much, LA Kings. Dashes for Edler, Roy, Walker, and Durzi in quick succession.
Oof, a rare goal Vasilevskiy will want back. Jaret Anderson-Dolan with the goal. Tough for Vasilevskiy as that was only his third shot against in the game.
Perry on the rebound! The Bolts were buzzing around the offensive zone at this point in the game, making Quick look pretty funny. He was flopping around, twisting and spinning on his knees. I’m never someone who believed in his style of goaltending for one simple reason — rebounds! It’s hard work for defenders to stop them when it’s supposed to be your job. On this goal, Matt Roy tried to block the shot coming from Perbix at the point, but deflected it right to Perry who had a wide open net.
The period was more defined by the goals — stemming from player mistakes — rather than momentum or pressure coming from one side or the other. To put it simply, it was a messy period for both teams, but more particularly the Kings for spotting the Lightning their two-goal lead. The Perry goal was a good use of making the most of the chaos for the veteran forward. He actually scored his 25th career goal against the Kings, most of them coming against Quick.
There was a Doughty penalty near the end of the period that the Lightning got a power play out of. However, after about a minute, Kucherov took a tripping penalty on Walker, putting the game back to evens. Tough call, but eh, whatever.
Colton!!! Another rebound in front of the net, Quick flailing into oblivion, and the Lightning extending their lead! The Bolts were making it look so easy to beat Quick, all they had to do was beat their checker to the net, get a handle on the puck before or after Quick stopped it, move laterally, and score. Colton with a perfect execution of that.
Cole puts it in his own net, batting the puck in ahead of Vasilevskiy as Danault tried to center the puck across the crease. Another unlucky goal on Vasilevskiy tonight in the last minute of the period. Good thing the Bolts have four goals on the other end.
It was an excellent second period for the Lightning, who led in shots 21-12 over the Kings, including owning 69% of the expected goals. The Bolts had a shift right before the Colton goal where they peppered the Kings net with 10 shots before the eventual goal. That was how much pressure the Bolts were able to apply at times.
Durzi took a high-sticking penalty on Point, but the Lightning didn’t do much on the power play. Kucherov did have some fun on a personal rush through the slot, through. Almost had a great goal.
Heddy!! Hedman closed out the game with his fourth goal of the season with a point shot through a screen with about four minutes left in the game.
Hedman and Byfield got into an argument near the end of the game from a hit Byfield made on Hedman. Kopitar had to get in between the star and his young forward. After looking at the hit, I can totally see where a slew-foot would come from. On the other hand, Byfield looked awkward as he came into Hedman, so I’d have to think he didn’t mean to do what he did. It didn’t look purposeful at all. Chalk it up as a mulligan for the rookie.
Unfortunately, the refs didn’t let it go and Hedman got a penalty for roughing with 2:30 left in the game.
The Kings immediately pulled their goalie to get the 6v4. The Bolts had to put in some work to kill off the penalty, which they did without any drama, and closed out the remaining time in the game.