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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Capitals 3, Lightning 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-0 loss in Game 6

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Afterwards, Lightning players and coaches accurately summed up what was the big difference in the contest. The Capitals, facing elimination, played a desperate game and the Lightning simply didn't match Washington's level.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Capitals 2 - Game 5

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-2 win in Game 5

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

In terms of flow of play and momentum, this was a tale of two games. The first period was, with a doubt, the Lightning's best period of the series so far. Their strong play carried over into the beginning of the second period. But shortly after Ryan Callahan's goal made it 3-0 at :33 of the second, the Capitals pushed back. They carried play for much of the final 16 minutes of the second. Then in the third, the Capitals made a furious push in the final 10 minutes of the third. 

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Capitals 2 - Game 4

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-2 win over Washington

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the main storyline of this game was the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy. For the second straight game, Vasilevskiy faced 38 shots and made 36 saves. But not all 36-save performances are created equal. In Game Three, he did make a number of important and difficult saves, particularly when the Capitals were surging. But in Game Four, he dealt with a higher volume of Washington Grade-A chances. He was sensational in the contest and the primary reason why the Lightning evened the series.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Capitals 2 -Game 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 win in Game 3

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning knew that if they were going to climb back into this series, they were going to have to play a lot better than they did in either Game One or Game Two. They came up with such a performance in Game Three - their solid play helped them build an early multi-goal lead and then, once they had that advantage, manage the game well and get it across the finish line.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Capitals 6, Lightning 2 - Game 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 6-2 loss in Game 2

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As was the case in Game One, the Lightning simply didn't play well enough to win this contest. Certainly, the Washington Capitals are on a major roll right now - they are playing crisp, solid hockey and have been deserving of their two victories. But the Lightning have also contributed to the two outcomes - they have gotten away from the elements of their game that helped them capture the earlier series against New Jersey and Boston.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Capitals 4, Lightning 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 loss in Game 1

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning,com

The two main factors that led to this dominant Washington victory were straightforward and uncomplicated. The Capitals played very well. And the Lightning didn't.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Bruins 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-1 win to clinch the series

by Dave Mishkin /

As one might expect in a game in which one team is facing elimination, this was a hard-fought, physical, closely-contested battle. Real estate was hard to come by, as were shots and scoring chances. Through two periods, shots on goal were only 14-14.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Bruins 3 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 overtime win in Game 4

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

What a gutsy win this was for the Lightning. As expected, the Bruins played their most passionate, physical game of the series so far. The Lightning had to deal with multiple Boston momentum surges and a noisy, hostile crowd. They couldn't hold onto an early 2-0 lead and had to rally from a third period deficit against one of the best defensive teams in the league. But the Lightning found a way. They received a huge performance from Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, both of whom scored important goals. What was also impressive was the Lightning's ability to push back after strong sequences for the Bruins. And ultimately, the Lightning won the game on a double deflection that was made possible by a victorious puck battle in the Boston defensive zone.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Bruins 1 - Game 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-1 win in Game 3

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Heading into Game Three, the first home game for the Bruins in this series, many expected the Boston to come out of the gates flying. The Bruins hoped to apply consistent and relentless pressure on the Lightning and enjoy the majority of the puck possession (something that didn't happen during the first two games at Amalie Arena). But, thanks to the Lightning's dominant start and clinical defensive performance, the script for Game Three was entirely different. As a result, the Lightning grabbed a 2-1 lead in the series.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Bruins 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 win in Game 2

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning delivered a strong, all-around performance in this game. Thanks to solid puck management, they owned most of the five-on-five puck possession. They used their speed effectively. They played a physical game. They generated a high volume of scoring chances. Unlike in Game One, a majority of their shot attempts went on net, rather than missing the net or getting blocked. Another big difference from Game One was the Lightning's d-zone coverage, which was tight. In short, the Lightning played a committed, passionate game and were deserving of the victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Bruins 6, Lightning 2 - Game 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 6-2 loss in Game 1

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Clearly, the big storyline from this game was the performance of Boston's top line. The unit of Patrice Bergeron (two goals and one assist), Brad Marchand (goal and three assists) and David Pastrnak (four assists) combined for 11 points. In Boston's five postseason wins this year, the trio has produced 41 points. In the Bruins' three playoff defeats, the three players have posted zero points.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Devils 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-1 win in Game 5

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As they did in the first four games of the series, the Lightning played very well in Game Five. Many of the elements that brought them success in the earlier contests against the Devils were on display on Saturday afternoon.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Devils 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-1 win in Game 3

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

There were several important components that led to this Lightning victory. Andrei Vasilevskiy had an outstanding overall performance, finishing with 27 saves. He made three separate stops on breakaways - the first two occurred in the first period when the Devils were leading 1-0. If the Devils had converted on either or both of those chances, the Lightning would have been facing an early multi-goal deficit.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Devils 5, Lightning 2 - Game 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 loss to the Devils in Game 3

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This Devils victory ultimately came down to three important components. MVP candidate Taylor Hall was a difference-maker for the Devils, contributing a crucial second period goal and creating the scoring chance for Stefan Noesen on the eventual game-winner. Goalie Cory Schneider provided his team with a number of timely saves, particularly when the Lightning were surging at different points in the game. And lastly, the Lightning took too many penalties, especially in the third period. The Devils had four third period power play chances, including a long five-on-three. It was on that two-man advantage that Will Butcher tied the score at two, a goal that completely changed the complexion of the third period.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Devils 3 - Game 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-3 win vs. New Jersey

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Like Game One, Game Two had ebbs and flows, stretches in which either the Lightning or Devils carried play. Even though the shot total favored New Jersey, 44-25. (more on that point later in this column), the Lightning were able not only to carry play for a majority of the game, but also to do more damage during those segments.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Devils 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-2 win vs. New Jersey

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was an excellent Game One performance for the Lightning. For the majority of the night, they played a straightforward, North-South game. This allowed them to exit their own end efficiently and chip pucks deep into the New Jersey zone. There, they were able to forecheck the Devils and spend a significant amount of time with the puck in the offensive zone. They also did a nice job of controlling the Devils attack by limiting New Jersey's time and space.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Hurricanes 3, Lightning 2 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As the final score reflects, this was an evenly-played game between the Lightning and Hurricanes. Both teams carried play at different points and had opportunities to win the game in regulation. As it was, the Lightning overcame a bad break on Carolina's first goal and a lost goalie interference coach's challenge on the second to rally for at least one point. While the OT loss didn't secure the division title for the Lightning, it did keep the pressure on Boston to win its game on Sunday versus Florida. A Florida win of any kind (regulation, overtime or shootout) would give the Lightning the division crown.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 7, Sabres 5

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 7-5 win over Buffalo

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Before getting into the particulars of this game, let's acknowledge some of the individual milestones reached in the victory. Nikita Kucherov posted a goal and an assist to reach 100 points for the first time in his career. Yanni Gourde snapped a 13-game goal drought - his first period goal gave him not only the Lightning's rookie goal record (25), but also the rookie point record (63). He would add another point later in the game. Victor Hedman's empty-netter was his 17th goal of the season, a new career-best. Tony Cirelli posted the first two-goal game of his NHL career. Brayden Point recorded his league-leading 12th game-winning goal of the season, tying Steven Stamkos' franchise record.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Bruins 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-0 win over Boston

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was one of the Lightning's best performances of the season. They played a tight, solid game in all three zones for the full 60 minutes. It was a contest in which they received strong efforts from every player in the lineup. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 shots to earn his eighth shutout of the season. He dealt with a handful of Grade-A looks and some difficult tips, but the Lightning also did an excellent job of keeping to the outside many of the Boston attempts.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Predators 4, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-1 loss to Nashville

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a tale of two games. For the first two periods, the Lightning decisively controlled play. They forechecked well and forced the Preds into d-zone turnovers. They spent very little time in their own end, moving the puck out efficiently. They owned a big advantage in both shots (24-13 through two periods) and shot attempts (47-27 through 40 minutes). It's true that they made a couple of mistakes on rush coverage and the Predators converted those into two goals, but, as a whole, the Lightning played very well during the first two periods.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 7, Rangers 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 7-3 win over the Rangers

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the big storyline heading into this game was the Madison Square Garden return of Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. Sometimes it can be a difficult, emotional situation, but they handled the scenario well - all three had solid games.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Bruins 4, Lightning 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 loss to Boston

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

First, the bad news. Because of this loss, the Lightning are out of first place for the first time since mid-October. They have dropped all three games in the season series to the Boston Bruins (with one game remaining between the teams). As was the case in the two earlier meetings, they fell behind by multiple goals and never led - or even got the game tied. 

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Coyotes 4, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 4-1 loss to the Coyotes

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Arizona Coyotes are going to the miss the playoffs this year. But they have had a strong second half of the season and, entering this contest against the Lightning, had been 13-7-2 in their past 22 games. So they've been playing well.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Devils 2, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 2-1 loss in New Jersey

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Unlike the first two meetings between the Lightning and Devils, games in which both teams used their speed to generate lots of scoring chances, this contest was played much closer to the vest. Even though the Lightning lost the game, they had a pretty strong overall defensive performance. But the Devils also defended well - and ended up making one more offensive play than the Lightning in their 2-1 victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 7, Islanders 6

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 7-6 win

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

In this topsy-turvy game, the Lightning had some strong moments and some, well, not so strong moments. They used their speed and skill to generate plenty of dangerous scoring chances. But their penalty kill had a rough night and some untimely turnovers and coverage lapses hurt them as well. Perhaps the most significant takeaway from this game, however, was how well the Lightning defended in the final 12 minutes of the third after their 7-3 lead was cut to 7-6.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 comeback win vs. Toronto

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was quite the comeback for the Lightning. And it was made possible by a huge turnaround in how the Lightning were playing. After an even opening 10 minutes, the Leafs carried play for the rest of the first and much of the second. They were quick to pucks, efficient in moving up ice with speed and defended tenaciously. The Lightning, on the other hand, committed numerous turnovers and struggled to generate many shots or scoring chances.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Oilers 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 3-1 win over Edmonton

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a strong bounce-back performance for the Lightning after Saturday's disappointing loss to Boston. The Bolts did a number of things very well against the Oilers, who had gone 4-1-1 in their previous six games.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Bruins 3, Lightning 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-0 loss to Boston

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

While there were several key elements to this Boston win, the biggest component was how well the Bruins defended in their own zone. Not coincidentally, this was also the first game this season in which the Lightning were shut out. Despite owning a majority of the puck possession, the Bolts had a difficult time finding any time or space in the offensive zone. The Lightning managed only 23 shots on goal for the game. They had 39 other attempts that were either blocked or missed the net.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Senators 7, Lightning 4

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 7-4 loss to the Senators

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This game was reminiscent of the January 6th contest between the teams in Ottawa. On that night, the Lightning posted 48 shots on net and had 93 shot attempts. They netted three goals and enjoyed much of the puck possession. But they also had a sloppy defensive performance, allowing six goals.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Canadiens 2 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 3-2 shootout win over Montreal

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

There were points in this game when the contest had a low-energy feel to it. For a portion of it, the Lightning did not generate sustained pressure in the offensive zone. At times, some of their passing was sloppy, which limited the amount of time they were able to go on the attack.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Rangers 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the bolts 5-3 win vs the rangers

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning used one of their most dominant periods of the season to take an early lead against the rebuilding New York Rangers. It's true that they weren't able to sustain that pace throughout the game - and did endure a sloppy third period. But it was still an impressive victory, their fourth in a row and one that improved their record to 8-0-1 over the last nine games.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Panthers 4 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-4 win vs. Florida

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Once again for the Lightning, this was a game that included some high-skill offensive plays, porous defensive segments, a high shot against total and another contest that wasn't decided after 60 minutes. In fact, it was a franchise-record sixth consecutive overtime game for the Lightning.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 7, Flyers 6 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 7-6 shootout win over Philadelphia

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Similar to some other recent Lightning games, this one was a close, high-scoring contest that featured high-skill plays and leaky defense - on both sides.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Stars 4 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-4 win in Dallas

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

A wild finish to a wild game. Cory Conacher's amazing overtime goal ended it. As he took his initial shot from the right circle, he was pushed to the ice by Jamie Benn. Conacher slid towards the post with his stick blade in the air and he knocked the rebound of his first shot past Ben Bishop into the net.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Buffalo 2, Lightning 1 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 2-1 loss to the Sabres

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Coming off Monday's emotional victory over Toronto, the Lightning were flat tonight. Conversely, the Buffalo Sabres played a structured, spirited, high-urgency game and were deserving of the victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Maple Leafs 3 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' 4-3 shootout win over Toronto

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

For pure entertainment value, this was one of the most exciting games of the year. It featured playoff-type intensity, great scoring chances, terrific goaltending, lead changes, a crucial third period penalty shot and a breathtaking overtime session. In the end, the Lightning collected the extra point, thanks to another shootout goal from Brayden Point. 

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Canadiens 3 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 win in shootout vs. Montreal

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

What an exciting game this was! It was fast-paced and highly intense, especially in the third period and overtime. In the end, Brayden Point's shootout goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy's spinning save on Charles Hudon in the third round secured the extra point for the Lightning, but there were a lot of twists and turns prior to those two plays.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Senators 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 win over Ottawa on Thursday

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning will gladly take the two points from this contest, but once again, they had issues with their defensive game. They almost surrendered a three-goal third period lead. At different points, they had trouble with puck management and couldn't get out of their own zone. In addition, they allowed a couple of breakaways and some in-alone chances. It was another game in which they yielded 30 or more shots (36). Fortunately, Louis Domingue had a terrific performance and helped the Lightning hold on for a 4-3 victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Capitals 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 win in Washington

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Before I get to the nuts and bolts of this game, a general comment. Boy, is it nice to finally see a Lightning win in Washington! Capital One Arena, formerly the Verizon Center, has been a house of horrors for the Lightning in recent years. Going back to the 2011-12 season, the Lightning had posted one win in 12 regular season games in Washington. In two of those defeats, incidentally, the Lightning had grabbed a 3-0 lead before the Caps rallied.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Devils 4, Lightning 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-3 loss to the Devils

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the play of New Jersey goalie Eddie Lack was a big factor in tonight's outcome. The Lightning fired a season-high 51 shots on goal and Lack made a career-best 48 saves. Of those 48 stops, many were on Grade-A scoring chances. He had a magnificent performance and deserves credit for helping his team, which is in the middle of the muddled playoff pack in the Metropolitan Division, pick up a crucial road win.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Red Wings 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-1 win over Red Wings

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

During recent games in which the Lightning carried a lead into the third period, they had, to varying degrees, struggled in the final frame. So it was significant in this game that the Lightning played very well in the third. After taking a 3-1 lead after two periods, the Lightning effectively shut the door on Detroit. Thanks to excellent puck management, the Lightning dominated puck possession and didn't give the Red Wings any momentum that might have fueled a comeback. Alex Killorn's goal early in the third was also important - not only did it re-establish a three-goal lead for the Bolts, it also took wind out of Detroit's sails.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Sabres 5, Lightning 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-3 loss in Buffalo

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

There were a few factors that led to this Lightning defeat. During his morning session with the media, Jon Cooper said that one key to having success in playing the second half of a back-to-back is getting the lead. That didn't happen tonight. Three times the Sabres broke open a tied game, eventually taking the lead for good late in the second period. Having to consistently play from behind seemed to wear down the Lightning, who didn't have as much jump after falling behind 4-2 early in the third.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 loss to Toronto

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Certainly, this was not a perfect game for the Lightning. They allowed four goals, had some rush coverage issues (the Leafs scored three of their four goals off the rush) and, at a few different points in the game, ceded momentum to Toronto.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Kings 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-3 win over the Kings

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Even though this was a victory for the Lightning, it left a sour taste. That's because the Lightning had a poor third period. They were outshot, 20-4, and almost squandered the three-goal lead they took into the final frame. But Andrei Vasilevskiy had one of his best performances of the season. Not only did he record 44 saves, he made a high volume of stops on Grade-A scoring chances. Thanks to Vasilevskiy, the Lightning were able to survive the third period and record the win.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Canucks 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-2 win over Vancouver

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Coming off a sub-par performance in Edmonton and playing the often-tricky first home game back after a long road trip, the Lightning responded with a solid performance against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Oilers 6, Lightning 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 6-2 loss in Edmonton

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a clunker for the Lightning. It was also a strong game for the Edmonton Oilers, who are scrambling to climb up the Western Conference standings. Afterwards, Oilers radio play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels told me that he thought it was Edmonton's most complete performance of the season.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Canucks 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-2 win in Vancouver

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Prior to this game, Lightning players and coaches talked about the need to limit opposition shots. The Lightning had allowed 30 or more shots in 11 of their previous 12 games. They had been outshot in eight of their last 10 and in seven consecutive contests. So it was a point of emphasis against the Canucks - spend less time in the defensive zone and limit shots against.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 7, Flames 4

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 7-4 win in Calgary

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a strange game, one with lots of twists and turns to it. The Lightning scored the last five goals of the game and rallied from a 4-2 deficit, but during that time, Calgary had most of the puck possession and applied consistent pressure. In the third period, the Lightning netted four goals. But they were outshot, 19-9. In that decisive third period, the Bolts had only 15 shot attempts (Calgary had 30 attempts). Usually, those kinds of numbers in a frame would spell trouble, especially if a team is trailing entering the period. But thanks to some timely offense and key saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning were able to rally for a come-from-behind victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Jets 3, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-1 loss in Winnipeg

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Lightning Assistant Coach Todd Richards was our pregame guest on Lightning Radio. Richards runs the power play and it had not produced a goal in the three previous games. So Richards stated that he was looking for the power play to revert to some of the good habits that brought it so much success throughout most of the first half of the season. He added that a good power play opportunity doesn't necessarily have to result in a goal - a crisp two-minutes that yields several chances can result in momentum once the power play expires.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Flyers 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-1 win over the Flyers

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Ryan Callahan was our postgame guest on Lightning Radio and made this comment about the game: "It was an ugly road win". His point was that the Lightning had some bumps along the way, especially in the first period. But they did what they needed to so that they could bank two points at the end of a week-long road trip.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Predators 3 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 overtime win in Nashville

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

What a gusty, impressive, comeback win this was for the Lightning. Down by a goal late in the third period against one of the top defensive teams in the league, the Lightning found a way to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime. They had to overcome a first period onslaught from Nashville as well as a failed goalie interference challenge that was tough to swallow. But the Lightning did overcome that adversity and now have won back-to-back games.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 2, Blackhawks 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 2-0 win in Chicago

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the outstanding play of Andrei Vasilevskiy was the big story of this game. He made 40 saves, including a number of high quality stops on Chicago scoring chances, to earn his league-leading seventh shutout of the season. (He now shares the franchise record with Nikolai Khabibulin for shutouts in a season). 

 

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Wild 5, Lightning 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-2 loss in Minnesota

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Having given up nine goals in back-to-back home losses, the Lightning were looking to tighten up defensively. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this game, the first of eight straight on the road for the Bolts. While the Lightning did cut down on the number of odd-man rushes they allowed, they still had problems with turnovers, rush coverage and d-zone coverage. It was another game in which they allowed a goal directly off a lost faceoff. And another one in which they fell behind early and were forced to chase a deficit for the rest of the night.

 

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Golden Knights 4, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

For the first time this season, the Lightning have lost consecutive games at home. In these back-to-back defeats to the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights, the Lightning have been outscored, 9-2. The big issue isn't that they only scored two goals - it's that they've allowed nine. As was the case against the Flames, the Lightning struggled defensively versus Vegas. They had problems with turnovers, puck management, rush coverage and d-zone coverage.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Flames 5, Lightning 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-1 loss to Calgary

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the biggest storyline from this game was the injury to Victor Hedman, who left the contest early in the second period. The Lightning will know more about his status after Hedman undergoes tests on Friday.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Hurricanes 4

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 5-4 win vs. Carolina

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a game in which both teams struggled to clear pucks out of their own end. Correspondingly, both the Lightning and Hurricanes were very effective on the forecheck and were able to force turnovers in the other team's zone. Additionally, the Lightning were dangerous off the rush throughout the game (the Hurricanes less so). Three of the Lightning's five goals came off the rush and they had a handful of other breakaways and in-alone chances that Cam Ward stopped. On the Carolina side, the Hurricanes did damage on special teams - they netted two power play goals and added another tally during a six-on-five after they pulled the goalie.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Red Wings 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over Detroit

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

There were a number of impressive components to this Lightning win, not the least of which was their ability to bounce back after Saturday's disappointing defeat in Ottawa. There was the stellar goaltending of Louis Domingue, who was making his Lightning debut. There was the Lightning penalty kill, which went 4-4 and killed off two separate five-on-threes. Yanni Gourde recorded a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick", posting two goals, an assist and a fight.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Senators 6, Lightning 3

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 6-3 loss to the Senators on Saturday

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As was the case on Thursday at Montreal, defensive problems plagued the Lightning in this game. Against the Canadiens, the Lightning were sloppy in their rush coverage and allowed numerous odd-man rushes. Versus the Senators, the Lightning had trouble with ill-timed defensive zone turnovers and loose coverage. The Sens were able to capitalize on those Lightning mistakes with some high-skill plays and score six goals, the most the Lightning have allowed in a game this season.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Canadiens 2, Lightning 1 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 2-1 shootout loss in Montreal

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Obviously, the primary storyline from this game was the splendid goaltending of both Andrei Vasilevskiy and Carey Price. They faced a combined 83 shots through 65 minutes and stopped 81 of them. There were likely upwards of 30 scoring chances between the teams, yet each goalie was only beaten once. In short, Vasilevskiy and Price each allowed his team to get points out of this game.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 2, Maple Leafs 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 2-0 win over Toronto

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

In terms of goals scored per game, the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs entered this game as two of the top teams in the league. So perhaps some observers were surprised that this game unfolded the way that it did - as a tight-checking contest that didn't feature a ton of scoring chances. That might have occurred because both teams were aware of each other's offensive prowess and therefore worked extremely hard defensively.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Blue Jackets 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-0 win over Columbus

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

What a way for the Lightning to close out 2017. They bounced back from Friday's disappointing loss to Philadelphia with a victory. They enjoyed another game in which, at least for a portion of time, they completely overwhelmed the opposition. In three separate road games this season, the Lightning have erupted for four goals in a period. The second period of this game was one of their most dominant frames of the season. Then, after getting a big lead, they didn't allow Columbus to build any momentum for a comeback.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Flyers 5

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-3 loss to Philadelphia

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

While the Lightning had a couple of strong isolated segments in this game - specifically, the latter part of the second period and a segment in the third after Tyler Johnson's shorthanded goal - they didn't play particularly well for much of the night. The Flyers were deserving of the two points they earned.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Canadiens 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-1 win over Montreal

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Heading into this game, there was some question as to how the first period would unfold. The Lightning were in their first game after the holiday break, while Montreal had played the night before.

But if the Lightning had any rust from not having played in five days, it wasn't apparent in the early minutes. The Lightning outshot the Canadiens, 11-1, to start the game and accumulated numerous Grade-A scoring chances. Carey Price stopped them all, however, keeping the Lightning off the board. The second half of the first period was Montreal's strongest segment of the game, as the Habs applied fairly consistent pressure and owned 12 of the period's final 15 shots.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Wild 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 3-0 win over Minnesota

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

During his morning session with the media, Jon Cooper explained that, because the Minnesota Wild are such a structured team, the Lightning had to play a patient game and not give the Wild chances on counter-attacks. The Lightning did a very good job of following that game plan. They did play a patient game and didn't allow the Wild's tight defensive performance to frustrate them.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Senators 3 - SO

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 win vs. Ottawa

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning successfully overcame some tough circumstances in this contest. It was their first home game back after a long road trip. They spent most of Wednesday on an airplane flying back from Vegas. They were taking on a hungry Ottawa team that was desperate for points. But none of that mattered. After a bit of a bumpy first period, the Lightning dominated play in the final two periods and overtime. Even though the outcome wasn't determined until the shootout, the Lightning were deserving of the victory and the two points.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Golden Knights 4

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 loss to the Golden Knights

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This one stings. After rallying from a 3-2 deficit with a late third period goal, the Lightning were seconds away from forcing overtime and earning at least one point in the standings. Instead, the Golden Knights tallied the game-winning goal with 2.3 seconds left in regulation. It was their fourth power play goal of the game.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 6, Avalanche 5

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 6-5 win over Colorado

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Recap: TBL 6, COL 5

Lightning build big lead, hold off Avs for 6-5 win

Anton Stralman and Yanni Gourde each had three points for the Lightning, who held on for a 6-5 win for their seventh straight victory

  • 05:24 •

What a wild game this was. It was one in which the teams combined for 11 goals, but it was scoreless through the first 29 minutes. Each team had a four-goal period. The Lightning almost blew a 5-1 third period lead. But in the end, they hung on for their seventh consecutive victory.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Coyotes 1

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 4-1 win over Arizona

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

The Lightning did a good job of not letting Arizona's position in the standings affect the way they competed in this game. Entering the contest, there was a 27-point difference between the clubs (that gap is now 29 points). But the Lightning brought their work boots to this game - and that high compete-level allowed them to dictate play for most of the night.  

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 3, Blues 0

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 3-0 win in St. Louis

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

This was a closely-contested battle between the two top point teams in the NHL. It came down to a handful of key plays that swung the Lightning's way.  

Both clubs brought a high compete-level to the game. To an extent, that led to a tight checking matchup. But neither team was flawless in its defensive performance. Both clubs had plenty of scoring chances - it happened to be one of those games in which the scoring chances didn't yield many goals. Goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy and Jake Allen had something to do with that, of course. But there were other opportunities that didn't even yield a shot on goal.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 4, Jets 3 - OT

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts 4-3 win over the Jets

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Earlier in the week, the Lightning and Winnipeg Jets were tied for the league lead with 38 points. Since then, the Lightning had won two games while the Jets had dropped two. So heading into this contest, the Lightning knew they were going be facing a terrific team that was eager to snap a rare losing streak.

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Mishkin's Extra Shift: Lightning 5, Avalanche 2

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over Colorado

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As they did during the first two games of this homestand, the Lightning were able to dictate play against the opponent for the majority of this game. They outshot, outchanced and outscored the Colorado Avalanche. They used their speed game and relentless forecheck to establish a big puck possession advantage. The result was another strong performance and a third consecutive win.

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