Tampa Bay Lightning Recap: Bolts get clean win over Carolina
Brayden Point is up to 47 goals on the season
Last time the Lightning were in Carolina, they got shut out 6-0. Tonight, they repaid the favor with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Hurricanes. Brayden Point scored twice and led the way with three points, while Andrei Vasilevskiy got his third shutout of the season making 31 saves for the win.
Stamkos (GWG) and Killorn (ENG) got the other goals for the Lightning. Stamkos also finished with three points, while Nikita Kucherov took home two assists. The stars were out tonight. Point earned his 47th goal of the season.
Darren Raddysh had his best night in the NHL, he thought he earned his first career assist on Point’s first goal with a good drive to the front of the net, and had the imaginary third assist on Point’s second goal with a stretch pass to get the play started. Alas, he went home from Carolina without a point. Nevertheless, his impact was noticed.
Pyotr Kochetkov allowed three goals on 20 shots as the Lightning had a lot of shots blocked in this game. The shot share against the corsi kings were an impressive 57% in Tampa Bay’s favor by the end of the game (5v5, adjusted). However, looking at expected goals and such, I think the Canes had the more dangerous offense (3.7 to Tampa’s 1.7) and it was mostly the shots the Lightning had in the final minutes that shifted the stats. This all tells me Andrei Vasilevskiy had an excellent game and was solid both in a tie game and while holding the lead.
Stamkos threatened to take the lead in the first period when his snapshot pinged off the post. He would get another chance later in the game.
Shots and chances were mostly coming from the outside in the first period as neither team were able to break the other open. However, there were a couple odd-man rushes going each way. The first was Point and Jeannot getting a 2-on-1 that forced Kochetkov to make a pad save.
Great pass from Point to Jeannot on a 2-on-1, but Kochetkov pushes left to right and makes the stop. Staal disrupted that one a little bit on the backcheck.— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) March 28, 2023
Later, the Lightning’s defense got turned around and Martinook had a breakaway chance on Vasilevskiy. Cernak and Raddysh made a couple turnovers that led to increased zone time against, but to be fair they it led to nothing more than point shots.
Vasilevskiy big-time save on Martinook, who got behind the #Bolts defense for a breakaway.— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) March 28, 2023
The Canes play a man-to-man defense where they tackle where the puck is going (ie. to the player) than covering the spaces between passes. That means more passes have a higher chance of being picked off, but if someone can get around their check, it opens up an odd-man situation. That system worked well against most of the Lightning players, but the stars (Point, Kucherov, Stamkos) were able to get rush chances going and make plays to open up the Canes defense.
Shots were a very modest 14-16 for the Canes, with only eight shots on goal from either side.
Seconds after Martinook came out of the box (for hooking Stamkos) the Lightning were still having the Canes chase them in the offensive zone. Kucherov diligently worked the puck out of a dangerous area and got the puck to Sergachev. His clever shot-pass to Stamkos at the side of the net was perfectly placed for the captain to shoot the puck in for the game’s opening goal.
You’ll notice the Canes defense getting out of whack from their man-to-man system. I think it was Jesper Fast who left Stamkos’ side to go challenge Sergachev’s shot. Meanwhile Martinook, who was out of the box, got lost in no-man’s land and spun the wrong way when it was supposed to be him checking Sergachev. He got pulled out position chasing Kucherov on the far side of the zone.
Interesting goal from a tactics and motion perspective.
Sergachev made a defensive play with Point at one end, Point got the puck across to the offensive zone, and eventually finished a somewhat ugly passing play, but effective nonetheless. Stamkos was the first to get Point’s pass and he set up Raddysh who had jumped up into the play. He couldn’t get full contact on the puck from in front of the net because of the lack of space and some Canes around him, but Point was able to get the puck through from a bad angle.
This goal was Darren Raddysh’s first career point, and a primary assist to boot. Unfortunately, Raddysh’s first assist was taken away by the gamekeepers later. It turned out he didn’t touch the puck. What I say next is still relevant. It took him a couple games to get up to speed, but he’s been a very capable player for the Lightning in a bottom six role. I think it helps them that he knows how to jump into the offense in the same way Perbix does. Thank you, Ben Groulx.
The Canes blocked a lot of the Lightning’s shots, 18-7, in fact, which led in big part to the shot clock differential by the end of the game. In reality, shot attempts were more-or-less even in this game. And considering the Canes are the corsi kings, that’s impressive from the Lightning.
Another goal that started in the defensive zone and was pushed up the ice by one of Hedman, Sergachev, Perbix, or Raddysh. This one was Raddysh getting the third assist with his stretch pass up to the neutral zone, and a quick backwards-forwards play between Stamkos and Kucherov led to Point having all the speed towards the Canes net and lots of space to take a shot and score. His 47th of the season.
Brind’amour pulled the goalie with almost six minutes left in the game with a three-goal deficit. While the comeback was very unlikely, it was good practice for both clubs come playoff time.
Eh, it didn’t last long as Killorn buried the empty netter. Simple and easy recovery from Cernak, pass up by Point, and little resistance for Killorn putting the puck away.
Jeannot wanted to cause a stir from the fourth line in the final minutes as he pushed a Canes defender into his goalie after the whistle. It led to some pushing, but the Canes decided to move on from this regular season game.