Here are the key takeaways from this important win, which snapped the Lightning's two-game losing streak.
- The Lightning significantly cleaned up the puck management issues that plagued their game against the Blues. Their ability to reduce their number of turnovers meant that the speedy 'Hawks didn't have many chances in transition.
- At the same time, the Lightning forced the 'Hawks into plenty of turnovers. They brought a high compete level and were hard on pucks. This, coupled with their solid puck management, helped them own most of the puck possession time and generate a handful of Grade-A looks. They did take the lead on Mikhail Sergachev's first period power play goal. But they endured several near misses at other points in the first two periods and were only up 1-0 entering the third.
- After Brent Seabrook tied the game at 8:27 of the third, the Lightning might have gotten frustrated. Based on all of their close calls during the first two periods, they easily could have still been up by multiple goals. But they didn't get discouraged. Instead, they pushed back immediately - and over the next four minutes, scored twice and built a 3-1 lead.
- Anthony Cirelli had a monster game - and ended up scoring the first of those third period goals. He tipped in a Victor Hedman slot shot and now has scored in three consecutive games. Later, he made a diving play in the defensive zone to clear the puck, leading to Cedric Paquette's empty-netter.
- Likewise, Ondrej Palat also delivered a strong performance. Brayden Point's third period goal wouldn't have occurred if not for Palat's relentlessness in winning a neutral zone puck battle. Palat eventually brought the puck into the offensive zone, creating a two-on-one with Point, who finished the odd-man rush.
- The Lightning dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the game. Steven Stamkos only played the first period, so the Lightning went the final 40 minutes with only 10 forwards. But it didn't matter that they had a short bench at that position - all 10 played with jump throughout the night. Point led all forwards in ice time, recording over 20 minutes. His speed into the offensive zone on the aforementioned play created the two-on-one opportunity with Palat.
In the end, this was a game the Lightning deserved to win. It was an excellent response after the disappointing loss in St. Louis.
Lightning Radio Three Stars of the Game:
1. Anthony Cirelli - Lightning. Goal and assist.
2. Ondrej Palat - Lightning. Assist.
3. Brayden Point - Lightning. GWG.