The biggest key to this victory was the Lightning's ability to create dangerous scoring chances, both off the rush and in the offensive zone. They were efficient in finishing those looks, scoring seven goals on their first 22 shots (they finished with 26 shots). Their offensive proficiency allowed them to build an early multi-goal lead (ideal in a back-to-back situation against a rested opponent) and force the Jets to play from behind.
It was a night of milestones, too. Anthony Cirelli recorded his first NHL hat trick. Alex Killorn set a new career-high by netting his 20th goal of the season. It was also his 300th career point. And Andrei Vasilevskiy matched a personal-best by posting his 10th consecutive victory.
Speaking of Vasilevskiy, he delivered an outstanding performance. It's true that he got plenty of goal support. Vasilevskiy finished with 30 saves, including a number of timely stops when the Jets tried to rally. He also made a handful of key saves during the opening minutes when the game was still scoreless.
The Lightning have now wrapped up this intense stretch of 13 games over 21 days. Eight of those games took place on the road. There were four separate sets of back-to-backs. And they crushed it. They won 11 of the 13 games and, going back to their victory before Christmas against Florida, they've gone 12-2-0 in the past 14. Now they can enjoy a well-deserved break before gearing back up for the post All-Star portion of the schedule.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
- Anthony Cirelli - Lightning. First NHL Hat Trick.
- Nikita Kucherov - Lightning. Two goals.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy - Lightning. 30 saves.