Tampa Bay Lightning Overcome Third Period Struggles to Break Home Losing Streak
The Tampa Bay Lightning have finally conquered one of their biggest challenges this season—the third period. After a three-game home losing streak, they were able to rally back from a 2-0 deficit against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and secure a 6-4 victory.
The Lightning’s struggle with the third period had been evident throughout the season, with blown leads leading to defeats in regulation and overtime. However, in their recent win, they were able to overcome this hurdle and score four times in the final frame. Steven Stamkos scored the equalizer on the power play, Luke Glendening secured the game-winner, and Mikhail Sergachev added insurance with an empty-net goal.
Head coach Jon Cooper acknowledged their struggles in the third period, stating, The season’s still fairly new, but we’ve not been a great third-period team this year. He expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance and highlighted the boost it gave to their morale.
This victory marked the first time Tampa Bay won a game in which they trailed entering the third period, improving their record to 1-5-2 in such situations. Cooper praised his team’s resilience, stating, I just liked the way the guys dug in.
Nikita Kucherov was a standout player in the game, contributing two goals and an assist. With this performance, he joined an elite group, becoming the third player in franchise history to produce three points in a match on 71 occasions. He trails only Stamkos (97) and Martin St. Louis (73).
The Lightning’s next challenge comes on Monday night as they host the Boston Bruins, a team that has been running roughshod through the NHL this season with 13 wins in 16 contests. The Bruins’ only regulation loss so far was against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Lightning and Bruins have met twice in the Stanley Cup conference semifinals since the 2017-18 season, with Tampa Bay emerging victorious on both occasions. However, the Florida Panthers, the Bruins’ opponent on Wednesday, caused an upset in last season’s opening playoff round.
Boston’s recent 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens showcased their commitment to playing the right way for the entire 60 minutes. Head coach Jim Montgomery praised the team’s performance, highlighting that they played the way they wanted to play.
Trent Frederic’s two goals and Brad Marchand’s 500th career assist were notable moments in the game, along with goaltender Jeremy Swayman’s strong performance. Swayman remains unbeaten in regulation with a record of 7-0-1.
Amidst the team’s success, the Bruins faced a difficult situation surrounding teammate Milan Lucic, who was arrested on Saturday morning following an alleged domestic violence incident. Team captain Brad Marchand expressed concern for Lucic’s family and assured them of their full support during this challenging time.
As the Lightning face the Bruins on Monday night, they will seek to build on their recent win and maintain their momentum. Both teams will have a chance to gauge their strengths against other top teams in the Atlantic Division during their two-game trip to the Sunshine State.