Tampa Bay Lightning Return Home And ShutoutRangers 5-0
The Tampa Bay Lightning (15-8-1) returned to home ice and played with a renewed energy in front of a sold out crowd of 19,204 and defeated the New York Rangers (12-12-0) by a final score of 5-0.
The day began with an encouraging press conference with Steven Stamkos who entered the room without the aid of a boot or crutches. The positive vibe continued during the pre-game celebration to honor Captain Martin St. Louis accomplishment of playing in 1000 career NHL games.
The momentum carried over into the first period as Nikita Kucherov scored on his first shot on his first shift of his NHL career.The sold out crowd was electrified a few minutes later as Marty St. Louis deposited the first of two goals.
The tide never shifted as the Lightning scored 5 goals on just 25 shots and goalie Ben Bishop was a stone wall saving 37 shots. The goals were scored by rookie Nikita Kucherov (1) and a pair of goals each by Marty St. Louis (9th and 10th) and Teddy Purcell (6th and 7th).
The third star was awarded to Nikita Kucherov for scoring his first career goal, the second star was awarded to Ben Bishop who stopped 37 shots in shutting out the Rangers, and the first star was awarded to the man of the night Marty St. Louis who scored two goals and an assist.
On an evening that began with a heartfelt celebration for Lightning Captain Marty St. Louis for playing in 1000 NHL Games (Video Here) it was only fitting that Nikita Kucherov playing in his first NHL game would score on his first shift and his first shot only 2:12 seconds into the game. Teddy Purcell picked up his 8th assist and Eric Brewer was credited with his 5th. Kucherov is the Lightnings 2011 second round pick and had 24 points this year with the Syracuse Chiefs including 13 goals.
It wouldn’t take long for St.Louis to get the crowd back up on their feet finding the back of the net 3:10 seconds into the game. It was St. Louis 10th goal on the season with assists to Valtteri Filppula (8) and Victor Hedman (8).
The Lightning entered the second period holding a 2-0 lead and Marty St.Louis stepped up and scored his second goal of the game (3:12) to push the lead to 3-0. Valtteri Filppula (9) and Andrej Sustr (5) picked up assists.
The lead was extended to 4-0 at the 16:52 mark on an unassisted goal by Teddy Purcell (6).
The Lightning will welcome former teammate Vincent Lecavalier and the Philadelphia Flyers to the Tampa Bay Times forum on Wednesday evening.