The Lightning snapped a three-game losing skid to central division teams following a 7-1 win to the Winnipeg Jets Friday night.
The Bolts generated a strong offense and kept the momentum rolling throughout the game. Tampa Bay struck first and scored three unanswered goals in the first period. Ondrej Palat drove the net and dropped the puck to Anthony Cirelli, who fired from the slot to put the Bolts on the board at 9:27 of the first period. A Winnipeg giveaway by Andrew Copp resulted in Bolts' second goal. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov converted on a 2-on-0 rush, Stamkos slid the puck to Kucherov who put the puck past Connor Hellebucyk. Cirelli notched his second goal of the game with 53 seconds left in the first period to give the Bolts a three goal lead heading into intermission.
The Bolts remained hot going into the second period and netted two goals. Kucherov scored his second goal of the game and 21st of the season to put the Bolts up by four. The play started with Brayden Point, who grabbed the puck from Stamkos and fed it to Kucherov from the crease. Carter Verhaeghe scored the fifth goal for the Bolts, firing a pass from Ryan McDonagh over Hellebuyck's shoulder.
The Jets pulled their starting goaltender from net in favor of Laurent Brossoit after Verhaeghe's goal. Winnipeg's only goal of the night came from Jack Roslovic, who took a shot from the slot and put the puck past Vasilevskiy at 11:44 of the second period.
Halfway through the third period, Mikhail Sergachev made a pass to set up a 2-on-1 with Cirelli and Tyler Johnson. Cirelli's shot bounced off Brossoit's skate and into the net for Cirelli's third goal of the game and first NHL career hat trick. Shortly after, Alex Killorn scored his 20th goal of the season to set a new career-high and earned his 300th career point.
Five Bolts registered multi-point games in the game, led by Palat (3A) and Cirelli with a hat trick. Vasilevskiy made 30-of-31 saves and won his tenth-consecutive start to set a new NHL career high.
Cedric Paquette, who exited the game early in the second period, did not return. Lightning forward Pat Maroon returned to tonight's lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
Tonight's contest was the Bolts' last game for nine days as they head into the bye week and All-Star weekend.
TBL | 9:27 Anthony Cirelli (10) - Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson
TBL | 12:21 Nikita Kucherov (21) - Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point
TBL | 19:07 Anthony Cirelli (11) - Ondrej Palat
TBL | 7:21 Nikita Kucherov (22) - Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos
TBL | 11:10 Carter Verhaeghe (6) - Ryan McDonagh
WPG | 11:44 Jack Roslovic (9) - Mathieu Perreault
TBL | 7:48 Anthony Cirelli (12) - Ondrej Palat
TBL | 10:45 Alex Killorn (20) - Mitchell Stephens, Mikhail Sergachev