The Tampa Bay Lightning completed an impressive comeback Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens in front of a packed house at the St. Pete Times Forum, winning 4-3. For the Lightning, it was the type of game they had to have against a Montreal team that was even with them in the standings. It was also a game they had to have if they wanted to make the win against Philadelphia on Monday mean anything.
“It seems like we’re finding ways to win games now, whereas before it seemed like we were finding ways to lose games,” Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. “We did a lot of positives, and again our first period was a little sloppy, but we didn’t panic. That was a big goal by Wyman that kind of swung the momentum and that was finally a bounce our way. We took advantage. We did what we do best, come back. It was a big win for us and hopefully we can keep this streak going.”
The start: So much has been made of bad starts in recent games, but that was not an issue tonight. The Lightning got off to a quick start in this one, taking an early lead in shots on goal and connecting on a Steven Stamkos deflection in front of the net. The Lightning still had their issues early in the game, but it was an improvement over previous starts.
J.T Wymans first goal/multi point game: Recent call up J.T. Wyman scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, and got stronger as the game went on. He had to sweat out the goal that, as it was reviewed to confirm whether it completely crossed the goal line, which video replay confirmed.
“At any level, to put the puck in the net, it feels great,” Wyman said. “That’s the main reason why a lot of us play the game and love the game, because big things can happen at any moment to any player, and anybody can be a hero at any time.”
Response to adversity: One of the more positive things that can be taken out of this game is the teams response to adversity. They came back strong down two goals, and got right back into the game, and eventually re-taking the lead on a Vincent Lecavalier goal.
“It’s a good thing,” Head Coach Guy Boucher said. “But at the same time, like right now we’re number one in the league for comebacks when we lose after two periods which is a testament to the player’s characters, but you’d like to be in a position to be in the lead once in a while before the third period, but hey, it’s extremely positive and we got nine points out of the last twelve points possible the last six games and that includes three on the road and three at home. We’ve stepped it up and that’s also done without some key guys.”
The power play: This is not a broken record. The Lightning power play is just that bad of late. You know it is a bad night on the man advantage when a goaltender sends the puck down the ice and earns his team an icing call, and that is exactly what happened to the Lightning tonight on one occasion. For the Lightning to truly turn the corner, they are going to have to turn the corner on getting the power play corrected.