The Lightning delivered a strong period and a half of hockey to begin the game. The final 30 minutes of regulation were less impressive. (It hurt the Lightning that they had to four penalties during that timeframe.) In the end, they got the game to overtime and gained a point following their first shootout defeat of the season. 

Beyond the final score, here are the biggest takeaways from the contest.

On the plus side, the Lightning received a terrific goaltending performance from Matt Tomkins. He finished with 25 saves and was very strong when the Senators carried play in the second half of the game. Nikita Kucherov dished out two more assists — including a dazzling one on the first Lightning goal of the game — and moved to within two points of 100 assists on the season. Brayden Point netted his 45th goal. Conor Sheary slotted in for an under-the-weather Anthony Duclair and played on a line with Point and Kucherov — he contributed a goal and an assist. And the Lightning’s penalty kill continued to shine. Tampa Bay killed off four penalties, including a lengthy five-on-three to begin the third period.

On the other side of the coin, the Lightning failed to convert on a long five-on-three themselves. That two-man advantage occurred during the first half of the second period. Once it ended, the game’s dynamic shifted. The Sens carried play for the final period and a half of regulation. Also, the Lightning saw Tyler Motte leave the game after blocking a shot during the second period. The Lightning hope to maintain health through these final regular season games. Jon Cooper didn’t have an update on Motte during the postgame interview. Hopefully, Motte will be okay.

During their just-completed two-game homestand, the Lightning faced two teams well out of playoff contention. Their next opponent, however, is in a much different position. The Capitals are battling for one of the final two playoff spots in the East and are desperate for points. The Lightning visit Washington on Saturday.

Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):

  • Brady Tkachuk — Senators. Goal, assist, shootout goal.
  • Matt Tomkins — Lightning. 25 saves.
  • Emil Lilleberg — Lightning.