Tampa Bay Lightning Continue Home Dominance – Defeat Predators 4-2

Tampa Bay Lightning Continue Home Dominance Defeat Predators 4-2

The Tampa Bay Lightning (21-11-3) defeated the Nashville Predators (16-16-3) by a final score of 4-2. The victory improved the Lightning’s home record to 13-3-1 at home this season.

St.Louis_Predators_12_19_13The third star of the game was awarded to Valterri Filppula who had an assist and the second star of the night was awarded to goalie Anders Lindback, facing his former team for the first time, who stopped 28 of 30 shots.

The number one star was Alex Killorn who had a goal and an assist.

The Lightning jumped ahead 2-o in the first period thanks to goals by Alex Killorn (8) and Martin St. Louis (14).

The teams traded a pair of goals in the second period with Teddy Purcell (8) and Richard Panik (2) scoring for the Lightning while Craig Smith (7 and 8) scored both the Predators goals.

Despite not scoring in the third period the Lightning were extremely aggressive outshooting the Predators 15-9.

There were a series of milestones reached during the game. Jean-Philippe Cote earned his first NHL point assisting Alex Killorn’s goal, Martin St. Louis goal was his 350th goal as a member of the Lightning, and Eric Brewer‘s assist on Richard Panik’s goal was his 25oth career point.

The Lightning goals were scored by Alex Killorn (8), Martin St. Louis (14), Teddy Purcell (8), and Richard Panik (2).  Craig Smith had both of the Predators goals – his seventh and eight of the season. His first goal came exactly two minutes into a power play but will not go in the score sheet as a power play goal and his second goal was a power lay goal.

Outside of what can be considered two power play goals Anders Lindback played an outstanding game. After The game when asked by SunSports’ Kelly Nash what stood out to Jon Cooper replied, “Anders Lindbak, no question. He has deserved to win games, he’s played extremely well for us. Then he has the added pressure of his coach putting him in against his old team – so that probably threw more pressure at him but he stood tall to the task. I give a lot of credit to he and Bish [Ben Bishop] they have both played extremely well against their former teams. Really proud of Lindy’s effort tonight.”

After the game Lindback said, “I’m obviously happy   I mean we got the win and it’s a little special obviously playing your old team and teammates so that was nice.”

For the first time since Decmeber 5th the Lightning had Victor Hedman back in the lineup. “He’s a horse” Cooper said, “He plays both ends of the ice – you just can see we sustained a lot of offensive pressure when he’s on the point – he’s got the big shot back there. He beats guys up ice and he beats them back into our own zone. When you have somebody that can play those minutes for us it takes a lot of stress off  everybody else off the d-core and we missed him while he was gone and its great to have him back.”

After the game Hedman said, “I felt pretty good. I wanted to get in there as soon as possible and felt better than I thought in the first period. I still thought that I could have played better but it was a good first game and I look forward to Saturday night.”

J.P. Cote was making his first appearance for the Lightning and his first game in the  NHL since the 2005-2006 season. When asked to evaluate his Cote’s performance Cooper said, “I thought he gave us a little stability down there, he made great outlet passes, it’s something we needed. He’s going to take minutes away from some guys and it makes our team fresher. I’ve coached a lot of players and he’s one of the guys though that really has fought his way back to the NHL and he deserved this shot and I’m extremely proud of him.”

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.