This was an important Lightning win for a couple of reasons. First, this game against Arizona represented the lone home game for the Bolts during a stretch in which they play six of seven on the road. Second, they were facing a team that had played in Washington the night before. For both those reasons, this was a contest the Lightning couldn’t afford to let slip through their fingers.
And they didn’t. While it’s true that the Coyotes had some moments in the game when they made a strong push, the Lightning were able to dictate play for most of the night. If not for the play of Arizona goaltender Louis Domingue, the Bolts might have scored six or seven goals in this game. But Domingue limited the Lightning to a first period rebound goal for Steven Stamkos and Cedric Paquette’s second period shorthanded penalty shot goal.
Because the Lightning were up 2-0 (and not 4-0 or 5-0) after two periods, the Coyotes were still close enough to make things interesting in the third. After Jordan Martinook scored on a tip early in the final frame, the Coyotes surged for the next several minutes. But just as he did when Arizona made a push early in the second period, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made several key saves and prevented the Coyotes from tying the game.
So ultimately, this was a game the Lightning knew they needed – and correspondingly, they played with a high level of urgency. That helped them gain a strong territorial advantage, which led to lots of shots and scoring chances. Despite Domingue’s best efforts, the Lightning were able to convert on just enough of those chances to earn their fourth straight victory.
Lightning Radio Big Moment of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
Paquette’s shorthanded penalty shot goal, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game (as selected by Phil Esposito):
1.Andrei Vasilevskiy – Lightning. 29 saves.
2.Louis Domingue – Coyotes. 34 saves.
3.Steven Stamkos – Lightning. Goal.