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game recap

McElhinney makes 32 saves, Lightning hold off Blackhawks

Point scores to help Tampa Bay end skid; Chicago has lost two in row after getting point in six straight

by Scott King / Independent Correspondent

Palat, Point combine for goal

TBL@CHI: Point taps Palat's pretty feed past Crawford

Ondrej Palat cuts to the outside and sends a pretty backdoor pass to Brayden Poiint, who taps the puck into the open net for a 3-1 lead

  • 00:40 •

CHICAGO -- Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Thursday.

Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist, and Alex Killorn had two assists for Tampa Bay (10-7-2), which had lost two straight following a three-game winning streak.

"It was good compete by our guys," said Lightning forward Brayden Point, who scored a goal. "We were short guys, but we had guys step up, guys like [defenseman Mikhail Sergachev], his line, a lot of blocked shots, a lot of zone time for them, creating energy for us and we were just trying to follow that."


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Blackhawks highlights]


Steven Stamkos didn't play after the first period for the Lightning because of a lower-body injury, but he did remain on the bench until the end of the game. 

"He aggravated something early on," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He hung in there. Basically, we got that one power play and felt he was going to be OK. Sat on the bench too long in the second. But it was good on him. [I] gave him the option to leave the game and he didn't want to do it, (he) wanted to hang out with the teammates on the bench and cheer them on. So I thought it was a big move for him and us."

Brent Seabrook and Dylan Strome scored, and Corey Crawford made 31 saves for Chicago (9-9-4), which has lost two in a row after going 5-0-1 in its previous six games. Patrick Kane had his 600th NHL assist to extend his point streak to 11 games (eight goals, 12 assists).

"We did some good things tonight and, you know, obviously would have been nice to get some points here in the last two games, but yeah, we have to keep playing the way we won all those games and went on the nice stretch with," Kane said. "Stay with it. We know the recipe for success and [need to] keep building."

Sergachev scored his first of the season to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 16:10 of the first period with a one-timer from the point on the power play.

Video: TBL@CHI: Sergachev wires slap shot home for PPG

"Felt great to get on the scoresheet, scoring a goal on the power play," Sergachev said. "First of all, helping the team, it's not about myself and my stats, it's all about the team and getting the boys going."

Seabrook tied it 1-1 at 8:27 of the third period, scoring from a sharp angle when his shot redirected in off the mask of McElhinney.

However, Cirelli scored 1:17 later to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead on a deflection of Victor Hedman's initial shot, and Point redirected in a pass from Ondrej Palat at the top of the crease on a rush to extend the lead to 3-1 at 12:23.

"I feel all right," Point said. "It's always nice to contribute. It's a great play by [Palat], but I think that's just kind of been how we've been winning games this year, is every line, every guy chipping in."

Video: TBL@CHI: Cirelli tips Hedman's shot past Crawford

With Crawford pulled for the extra skater, Strome cut it to 3-2 at 17:17 on a rebound in front, but Cedric Paquette scored into an empty net at 19:00 for the 4-2 final.

"I don't think we've lost the momentum," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "I think we know what we can do, we just got to get our legs going and get four lines rolling again. Back on the road this weekend, so back to that same mentality of playing simple hockey. Last couple road games we had four lines contributing and a lot of pucks going in, so try and get back to that same style."


They said it

"I liked what I saw from everybody tonight. [Killorn] had the legs moving. It was tough because we only dressed 11 forwards, [Stamkos] went down early, so now we're with 10. … It was a team effort, though. It's good to see the guys get rewarded. They worked hard after a tough one in St. Louis (3-1 loss on Tuesday). And then I really felt for McElhinney. He's had some tough starts for us on some back-to-backs and until the end of the game, I thought we defended well in front of him." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

"Obviously, these two last home games weren't our best games (lost 4-2 to Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday). We had a push in each game, but I don't think it was good enough. Got to find a way to battle for 60 minutes. [Five] straight divisional games coming up, so important time in the standings and we got some time between games. It's time to find a way to pick up some points in the division here." -- Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome


Need to know

Killorn (three goals, six assists) and Hedman (two goals, seven assists) each has nine points during a six-game point streak. … Kane led all players with 27:52 of ice time. … Tampa Bay and Chicago each dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen.


What's next

Lightning: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced attack leads Lightning past Blackhawks, 4-2

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